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Chesapeake fund to invest in two green energy companies

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s new venture capital fund will start by investing in two green energy companies.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: July 11, 2011

Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s new venture capital fund is getting off to a quick start, with more than $300 million in investments planned for two green energy companies.

“We believe the long-term solution to America's economic and energy challenges will come from American natural resources combined with American ingenuity and innovation,” CEO Aubrey McClendon said.

Chesapeake will invest $150 million in newly issued convertible debt in Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a company co-founded by natural gas advocate T. Boone Pickens.

Clean Energy will use the money to accelerate its plans to build additional liquefied natural gas fueling stations for heavy-duty trucks, a key component of Pickens' plan to cut oil imports.

McClendon said Chesapeake's investment is expected to help underwrite the cost of about 150 new fueling stations, a tenfold increase in the number of public LNG stations.

“As confidence grows in the build-out of a national grid of CNG and LNG fueling infrastructure, we are confident that (original equipment manufacturers) of all vehicular classes will vastly increase their production of CNG and LNG vehicles,” he said. “Both businesses and consumers will then be able on a large scale to acquire these vehicles and embrace a cleaner, American fuel that costs about $1.50 to $2 per gallon less than gasoline and diesel.”

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