Sunday, January 23, 2011

Key ethical issues the energy industry faces

Key ethical issues the energy industry faces

What is ethics? Ethics is a set of moral principles especially ones relating to a specified group, field or form of conduct. When you apply ethics with the energy industry, things can get very messy. The oil industry is very complicated in general- there isn’t an “environmentally friendly oil company”. However that doesn’t mean that the oil companies can play around with ethics to maximize profits, there are sets of rules they need to follow.

Exxon Mobil is the biggest company in the world. “Being so huge, it has been estimated that Exxon-Mobil is responsible for 5% of world co2 emissions, and yet they are the only oil company that doesn’t recognize climate change.” (http://makewealthhistory.org/2008/03/10/which-is-the-most-ethical-oil-company/ ). The company is facing questions about its clearness on climate change issues coming from a new report that says the company is still funding “climate change denial” groups, a practice that was reported to have stopped.

Exxon Mobil benefits from economic conditions that hurt most American’s struggling to fill up their tanks. 15 environmental and consumer rights organizations are asking Exxon to provide more resources to renewable energy. Exxon responded that it reinvest profits into clean energy, and “reduce global greenhouse gas emissions”. However, Russ Roberts, Exxon spokesman said, “the company believes that pursuing wind and solar power production, as Expose Exxon has put forward, is "not economic to do." (http://www.ethicsworld.org/corporategovernance/corporatereputation.php)

4 comments:

  1. I'm shocked that Exxon Mobil is in denial about climate change. The fact that they remain such a powerful company, despite their ignorance, suggests that many of their customers are unaware of the problems facing the climate as well. This is disturbing because it means they are probably not doing their individual parts to protect the environment. If more people on an individual level were concerned about the wellbeing of Earth, then Exxon would have no choice but to make strides towards finding renewable sources of energy. As it is, however, the company has remained successful by capitalizing off of the public's ignorance.

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  2. I think that you have hit on a couple of good points here Farida. It is important that you examine both which companies have good ethical standards as well as look into companies that are responding to environmental demands by creating renewable energy sources. Good work.

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