This industry is desperate to keep their dark secrets. They’re going after the Times and particularly Ian Urbina for exposing their ponzi scheme. Ira Glass and NPR will likely be next for exposing their mafia style tactics.
The latest round in the fight between the paper and the gas industry played out June 26, when the paper published a front-page piece by reporter Ian Urbina that painted a bleak portrait of the industry, based on leaked e-mails from industry officials that questioned the economics of extracting shale gas from wells. Urbina quoted an unnamed analyst comparing the bonanza over shale gas to “giant Ponzi schemes.” He also quoted a former Enron executive who compared natural-gas companies to his corrupt former employer.
The article created a stir in energy circles, where oil, coal, and gas companies are fighting over billions in federal subsidies. Arrows were fired at the Times from all corners. Predictably, the political right railed that the Times was pushing a pro-green agenda. “The New York Times really hates natural gas,” wrote a blogger for redstate.com. Michael Levi, the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, accused Urbina of cherry-picking quotes to push the article’s anti-gas bent. Over at RealClearMarkets, Jon Entine, a fellow at George Mason University, accused the Times of being played by anti-gas sources with ties to the rival coal industry. Entine went so far as to allege that the Times quoted sources who had a financial interest in pushing anti-gas stories in the press.