A core problem affecting Chesapeake today is one that affects other city-based energy firms. It's the price of natural gas. Energy firms are accustomed to periods of bad tidings, followed by booms. During those booms, the companies have the cash to contribute not only to the private economy but through donations to charitable organizations.
In 2010 alone, Chesapeake gave more than $25 million to benefit the arts, the environment, social services, health and education. Its employees give of their time and money every day — right here in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City and its energy industry are more than Chesapeake. And Chesapeake is more than Aubrey McClendon. Yet it's impossible to separate Chesapeake from the economic revitalization of the city since 1989. And it's impossible to separate Chesapeake's success from Aubrey McClendon.
We need this company to prosper and to remain based where it was birthed. Chesapeake needs to put its affairs in order, which appears to be already under way. We should all breathe a sigh of relief if structural changes and, more importantly, an improvement in the gas market result in a bigger, better Chesapeake helping to build a bigger, better Oklahoma City.