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SUNY Institute Funder Fracked by SEC Probe

Aubrey McClendon has been removed from his position as chairman of the board of Chesapeake Energy, the company he founded. Click here to read an account from the Guardian, describing how Chesapeake’s shady dealings have now drawn the curiosity of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

From the article:

“A company in the vanguard of the American shale gas revolution has been “fracked” by a regulatory investigation amid controversy over its founder using his personal stakes in corporate wells to borrow nearly $1bn (£618m).

The board of Chesapeake Energy has removed founder Aubrey McClendon as chairman – he remains chief executive – and scrapped highly unusual remuneration arrangements which led to his borrowing $846m.

Chesapeake also confirmed that the US securities and exchange commission (SEC) has started an “informal” investigation into both the company and McLendon, with which it said they would all co-operate.

The company was an early beneficiary of shale drilling but the slump in the price of US natural gas has driven the business into a first quarter financial loss and halved its share price this year.

The second largest gas producer in the US has been forced to admit it may run out of money in 2013.”

Time magazine also wrote about the “rapidly-unfolding imbroglio” yesterday. Click here to read.

Chesapeake Energy is one of the sponsors of the SUNY Fredonia Shale Resources Institute, as evidenced by this screen shot:

Since we drew attention to the Fredonia institute (and its big brother the UB Shale Resources and Society Institute) in this blog post, the Fredonia institute’s website has been taken down.

SUNY Fredonia spokesperson Michael Barone told us he had no idea why the website was down, and stressed that he did not direct that it be taken down. He also confirmed what we reported here—that since the institute’s funding is filtered through the Fredonia College Foundation, all information pertaining to the corporate funding is beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Law.

We can only presume the new institute at UB will be funded the same way. UB spokesperson John DellaContrada is tight-lipped about it. On April 30, we sent him the following email:

Hi John,

Can you share the list of sponsors/donors/funders of the new  
institute, along with the dollar amounts?

Also, I’ve been told that at Fredonia’s Shale Institute, the money was  
given to the school’s foundation. Is that how it’s set up at UB? If  
so, which foundation at UB receives the money?


On May 1, he sent the following reply:

Hi Buck,

Philanthropic support is pending from a variety of potential funders.  


Apparently, anonymity is highly prized by corporate donors that are under investigation for securities fraud.

Meanwhile NYS Senate Bill 5797—which would make the foundations of SUNY schools subject to FOIL—continues to move through the Education Committee.

At the University at Buffalo, foundations have been shown to be used for a variety of activities beyond their mission statements. We wrote about it last year. If S5797 were to become law, it might help the reputations of SUNY foundations—as well as the reputation of the State University of New York as a whole.

  • JHBurnette

    “…beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Law…”   Money laundering !  Call the FBI !  Call the DoJ !

  • Charley_Tarr


    These ‘dealings’
    inter-mingled with the identity of our State University system are an absolute abomination.  Mark Grisanti, this is the exact behavior I
    was warning you about at the close of your UB Law reception.  I am curious if Mr. Giambra has mentioned the
    actions of Aubrey McClendon and other individuals surrounding our region in
    360-degrees as part of his vision for the “business opportunities” and “prosperity”
    offered by hydro fracture?  Remind me, which
    dialect of Mandarin do Doug and Joe speak?

    (Reuters) – An investment management firm that has loaned hundreds of millions
    of dollars to Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK.N)
    Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon raised money for its most recent investment
    fund from 19 institutional investors, including some of the largest U.S. public pension funds, according to a private equity research firm.

    The list of state pensions that put money into the $4.1 billion EIG Global
    Energy Partners fund include ones from Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana,
    Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas, according to research firm Preqin.
    Other large investors in the EIG Energy Fund XV were insurance giant MetLife
    and a Teamsters pension plan.




    Goldman Sachs is real-time directing substantial segments of
    EIG-Global into a Chinese sovereign wealth
    fund (CIC)


    Here is the third piece of the “Chinese Gas

    Large segments of the Utica Shale leases in Ohio and Pennsylvania……

    “The company also announced the additions of both Gordon Clancy and
    Wallace Henderson to the Board of Directors of the company.  Mr. Clancy
    was a founding partner and Managing Director of Citi Venture Capital
    International (CVCI), a leader in global emerging markets private equity
    investing.  Mr. Clancy led CVCI’s Asian activities and was the Chief
    Executive Officer of Citi Venture Capital International Asia Limited (Hong
    Kong) prior to his retirement in 2009.  Mr. Henderson,
    President of Gateway, was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the company
    and also appointed to the Board of Directors.”

  • Charley_Tarr

    Here is the nearly original archived page courtesy of ‘Way-Back-Machine’ 
    For some reason the name ‘Way-Back-Machine’ brings to mind an image of John Dellacontrada dancing the Limbo with a Fruity Umbrella Drink in his hand……

    (Just in case there is any present moment of confusion….what with-removing-the-page-and-all)

    Isn’t there an old joke about Fruity Umbrella Drinks and Angry Teamsters Robbed of Pensions?

  • Charley_Tarr

    I’ll be damned….even the South Africans are upset…..
     Please enjoy a beautiful new work from  filmmaker Jolynn Minnaar.

    A whisper of advice……. these are going to get prettier and prettier and prettier….

    All the horrendous majesty of  a tsunami arriving on shore.

  • Shermanater

    I wonder if Royal Dutch Shell contributed any funds?  That would be the Terry Pagula connection.