Chesapeake CEO takes on anti-drilling 'extremists'

The chief executive of one of the top U.S. natural gas producers delivered a blistering rebuke of critics of shale gas drilling on Wednesday, calling them fear-mongering extremists who want Americans to live in a world where "it's cold, it's dark and we're all hungry."

Speaking at an industry conference in Philadelphia, Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon said that gas drilling has been done safely for decades using a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

Environmental activists say that fracking and the drilling boom it's created have led to polluted air and tainted groundwater and made people sick.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying the issue.

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