Ruptured Pipeline Spills Oil into Yellowstone River, Montana
Picture above courtesy: The New York Times
These are no “accidents” as they are often labeled by oil companies, media, governments, and the public. Here is an incomplete list of these “accidents”:
It is troubling and criminal how often these natural resource companies constantly pollute the environment not only in their homeland but also in other peoples’ native land to a state beyond repair. A look at the top 10 richest companies in the world, 7 are part of the oil and gas industry. Yet, an attempt to remove the tax cuts to companies like Exxon Mobil as part of a plan to decrease the US debt is ludicrous. I understand the American government needs to provide enough incentives in order for the industry to continue investing on our soil and supply jobs to our brothers and sisters. I don’t think the government could realistically solve this historical safety negligence by drastically increasing regulations for the industry because companies will just hop over to poorer countries that are forced to have lax regulations in order to encourage “foreign investment.” I know it’s naive to think that it should be the companies that need to transform the way they invest their revenues: Instead of giving executives a huge bonus from the years’ vast earnings, why not invest to fix or replace old pipelines and other capital equipment? Where are their basic responsibilities and morals? I am willing to bet you the business community will come out and say: it’s a publicly traded company and they need to keep their share-holders happy.
Here is how the blame spreads (pardon unedited logic): 1) the pipeline ruptures and the company is blamed; 2) all levels of government (mostly federal) are blamed for lax regulations and oversight; 3) Congress has the same fight they always have over extent of industry regulations, the national economy, and multinational companies—>no substantial changes are made to prevent this from happening again; 4) outlets subtlety spread the blame to shareholders because they are the fueling power of the lack of business ethics. At the end, with fingers pointed to all directions, the price for the crime committed is diluted and we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. The “let’s hope it doesn’t break again” mentality always comes back to bite you in the ass from our personal lives to businesses.
It is a sad day for Planet Earth and our inability to stop these companies from manhandling our lives and our government.
The least Exxon Mobil can do is handle the media relations/image better than Tony Hayward (former CEO of BP).