Energy Executive Says Shale Could Turn Arkansas into "Economic Powerhouse"

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp. says the Fayetteville Shale natural gas reserve in Arkansas will transform the state's economy.  But CEO Aubrey McClendon says any additional tax burdens or regulations on the industry could drive business away from the state.

Chesapeake and other natural gas firms agreed to support a severance tax hike after negotiations with Governor Beebe's office.  The tax increase was passed by the Legislature in a special session this month.  It takes effect January 1.  McClendon said his company won't lobby for any changes to tax on natural gas.

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