08 Jun 2012 CEO of Chesapeake Energy to Be Questioned About $26 Million Gift to Radical Environmental Group
National Center for Public Policy Research to Ask Why Nation’s Second-Largest Natural Gas Company Donated Millions to Anti-Coal “Beyond Coal” Campaign that Led to “Beyond Natural Gas”
Chesapeake Energy CEO to Be Asked to Explain Wisdom of a Fossil Fuel Company Fighting Fossil Fuels
Oklahoma City, OK / Washington, D.C. – At the annual shareholder meeting of Chesapeake Energy Friday, National Center for Public Policy Research President David Ridenour plans to question embattled CEO Aubrey McClendon over the company’s controversial $26 million contribution to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.
In May, the Sierra Club announced the debut of a new anti-energy campaign based on “Beyond Coal”: “Beyond Natural Gas.”
Chesapeake Energy is America’s second-largest natural gas company.
Reuters reports the meeting will be “raucous.”
The meeting will take place in Oklahoma City beginning at 10 AM CST.
Ridenour plans to ask McClendon a series of questions, including:
- Why did you donate $26 million apparently-borrowed dollars, which shareholders must repay, and according to the Sierra Club, pledge another $30 million, to “Beyond Coal”?
- What accounting procedures did you require so that you could assure that the funds donated for “Beyond Coal” were used exclusively for “Beyond Coal” and are not now being used for “Beyond Natural Gas”?
- By funding “Beyond Coal,” did you not unnecessarily pick a fight with another fossil fuel industry that now will have every incentive to fund “Beyond Natural Gas?”
The Chesapeake Energy donations were made from 2007-2010, but kept secret until 2012, when Time magazine revealed them. The Sierra Club told reporter Bryan Walsh of Time that it turned down an additional $30 million gift from Chesapeake. Controversial New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also has donated $50 million to “Beyond Coal.”
Ridenour is attending the meeting as the official representative of an individual Chesapeake shareholder. The National Center for Public Policy Research is also a Chesapeake shareholder.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011 it received over 350,000 individual donations. Two percent of its revenue comes from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.