First, the taxes. According to a report in Bloomberg News, Chesapeake has paid very little of the taxes owed on $5.5 billion it’s made since its founding. The reason rests with a law — written back when people were still mostly getting around on horse and buggy — that allows oil and gas companies to postpone paying income taxes because of the risk taken that a well might wind up being dry.
But Bloomberg noted that improved technology these days makes it far less likely that wells dug will turn out dry. While the report added that Chesapeake isn’t the only energy company to delay paying its taxes, it is the largest to do so.
In total, the company has paid Uncle Sam only 1 percent (an ironic percentage, given recent revelations of Cheaspeake CEO and “1 percenter” Aubrey McClendon) of the income it earns.
Speaking of the government, the U.S. Department of Justice has taken an interest in a case where Chesapeake is accused of illegally colluding with a competitor to drive down the price of land in Michigan, allowing the energy companies to obtain land for oil and gas exploration relatively cheaply. Reuters first reported on the alleged collusion after obtaining internal Chesapeake emails, some from McClendon himself, on the issue.
Meanwhile, the city of Seattle continues to behave like the bitter ex who insists they hate you but can’t stop talking about you.
In a story tracing McClendon’s history, the Seattle Times ran a photograph of the embattled CEO at an Oklahoma City Thunder game wearing a Thunder T-shirt.
Seattle, you might recall, is the previous home of the Thunder (then the SuperSonics), of which McClendon is a part owner.
Problem, Seattle? And finally, an Oklahoma City Council meeting July 3 raised questions about a Chesapeake-owned CNG fueling station at 5022 N. Western.
Some residents and council members worried that the station could cause traffic congestion, and Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid wondered aloud what would happen to the fueling station if Chesapeake went under.
Now, Chicken-Fried News has it on good authority that the mere mention of that possibility spurred a sudden and collective tightening of anal sphincters so formidable, it threatened to form a black hole that would have dragged the entire Earth into its inescapable maw.
Thankfully for humanity, an anal-addled apocalypse was thwarted when the council voted to allow zoning for the station. Only Shadid and Ward 4 Councilman Pete White dissented.