"The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom" by Jeff Goodell was published March 1, 2012 in Rolling Stone. I was interviewed by Goodell and was mentioned in the article. I sent the following rebuttal to the editors of Rolling Stone:
March 3, 2012
To the Editor:
I was interviewed by Jeff Goodell and mentioned in his recent Rolling Stone article "The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom."
He wrote, "According to Arthur Berman, a respected energy consultant in Texas who has spent years studying the industry, Chesapeake and its lesser competitors resemble a Ponzi scheme, overhyping the promise of shale gas in an effort to recoup their huge investments in leases and drilling."
I never said that Chesapeake or any other company involved in shale gas drilling is involved in or resembles a Ponzi scheme. That may be what Goodell thinks but that is not what I said, think or imply. I have expressed doubts about the viability of the shale gas business model used by some companies, but I do not question the legality of those business models. The term Ponzi scheme does not remotely apply to the way that exploration and production companies obtain capital and rationalize earnings.
Jeff Goodell may think that some shale gas companies are involved in Ponzi schemes, but such statements cannot be attributed to me.
Arthur E. Berman