“Our commitment to high ethical standards, legal compliance, and integrity is reflected in our safety and environmental policies and practices worldwide”……”We believe that it is possible to obtain the energy the world needs while also protecting people and the environment”. These are two quotes pulled directly from Exxon Mobil’s website under “Safety & environment“. From the looks of it, Exxon seems to be carrying out its business operations in a sound and ethical way. Let’s take a closer look.
For those that are not aware, over the past couple years energy companies have been exploring with new techniques for extracting natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking“. This is especially for unique for us Bucknellians as our surrounding area contains huge reservoirs (Marcellus Shale) of natural gas that is being extracted using the fracking techniques. Fracking has become increasingly popular over the past couple years because it is a “safe” way to extract large amounts of natural gas with great efficiency. Moreover, there is much more certainty with fracking; energy companies know the gas is down there as opposed to the risk associated with drilling for oil (it may or may not be there).
The link above gives a brief overview of how fracking is carried out and also the side effects of the new technique.
This video, although somewhat sarcastic and childish, gets the point across of the effects of fracking on the water supply of nearby residents. This is a serious problem. Is this what Exxon meant by referring to itself as “ethical”. I beg to differ Exxon. I think the video brings up a good point in saying that fracking should not be completely outlawed but needs tighter regulations. This seems to be a reoccurring theme, right? Enron, AIG, fracking….what else can we add to the list?
Overall, I think companies should be held more accountable for things that are published, such as the statements above. Clearly the practice of fracking is not in line with these guidelines and there should be consequences. I know there’s false advertising so does this fall under a similar category?