The Smear Campaign to Distract From the Truth That Shale Plays Are Commercial Failures

There is a carefully organized smear campaign orchestrated by powerful corporate interests ( to distract from my central argument that the shale gas plays are commercial failures.

I have a clean conscience about all of this and am willing to discuss it with anyone.

I told no one beyond my closest circle of family and friends about the upcoming New York Times article and I did not make any investments, nor did any of my clients or friends, make any investments that I know about based on the timing of its publication.

I was not shown any advance versions of the article and read it for the first time late Saturday, June 25 when it was published online.

I have no active investments in stock and have not for several months. Most of my investments are in REITs, bonds, or commodity funds.

Anyone who thinks that e-mails are confidential only needs to pay attention to the international news (WikiLeaks or any number of discovery cases) to realize that everyone should be careful about what is put in e-mail communications. I am not pleased about how the New York Times published e-mails that supposedly came through me, but I also think that those who believe that this kind of communication is secret and confidential must wake up to the real world.

I will fight the claims of wrong doing to the extent that this is productive, and believe that my record speaks for itself.

The real issue here is the truth about the economics and conduct of shale plays by the independent E&P companies.

All of the media innuendo is calculated to distract from the truth that the shale plays to date are non-commercial and that the companies involved have not been truthful about this.


  • Steve

    I’m a resident of Pennsylvania, a state now in the forefront of developing the Marcellus Shale, one of those shale gas formations that Mr. Berman has so repeatedly stated are just a flash in the pan, and which the New York Times article based on his allegations describes as a Ponzi Scheme. That Ponzi Scheme of the Marcellus Shale is now producing so much natural gas that Pennsylvania is expected to be completely self sufficient by the end of this year, and is projected to have a growing surplus for sale to other states in the years ahead.

  • Steve,

    There is no question that the Marcellus natural gas production is real.

    I am encouraged by the apparent success of drilling in Susquehanna, Bradford and parts of Tioga counties, as well as some bright lights in Green County.

    My concerns about shale gas do not exclude or overlook success in some areas and plays.

    I am in favor of the shale plays, as I said on CNBC a week ago:

    We merely need to keep our eyes open to the reality of what we are being told by industry and the mainstream media.


  • Anonymous

    Mr. Berman, I am glad to read your response. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy skepticism or a diversity of opinion. Perhaps if people were more open minded we might never have had the disastrous real estate bubble or got ourselves into Iraq. What had concerned me was that the New York Times piece appeared at the precise moment when the NIMBYs of New York had been refuted by the recently released SGEIS and that state was poised to join Pennsylvania and West Virginia in developing the Marcellus. It’s a fact that the United States is now getting almost 25% of its natural gas supply from shale formations, so I suppose we all need to increase our understanding of the pluses and minuses of that type of unconventional gas resource.

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