In Pennsylvania, Chesapeake Energy wanted to drill for natural gas, so it made deals with farmers and other landowners for the rights to whatever it found under their ground. In return, the company promised to pay royalties from the fracked gas it brought to market. The landowners saw big dollar signs and signed the contracts. But now, they’re discovering that the checks from Chesapeake Energy aren’t as big as they’re supposed to be, because the company is charging them for expenses — in amounts that sometimes cut the payments 90% — while it pockets billions and saves its own bottom line.
Abrahm Lustgarten of Pro Publica did an in-depth investigation into the story, so I invited him to discuss it on my America Weekend show. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!