• “Do you think it is possible for a company to be both ethical and profitable?”

    I know it’s possible. Nevertheless, I think the norm is to be unethical when it boils down to a choice between profits and ethics. After all, it’s easy to be ethical when it’s profitable to do so – the real test comes when ethics stand firmly between a company and their profits and I think there’re very few businesses that would purposely sacrifice profits to remain ethical. Toyota wouldn’t, Ford wouldn’t, Enron wouldn’t, and Eli Lilly wouldn’t; I’d really like to hear about any companies that would and how they made their choices – I think that that would be newsworthy! However, please don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily think that most companies are unethical in that they violate their own code of ethics all the time - it’s just during those trying times when their ethics get in the way of significant profits, which may, or may not be, all the time.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.

  • "What statement of values would you expect from a petroleum company?"

    I'd expect them to hire the best writer money can buy to compose a mission statement that makes them look their absolute best. Then, I'd expect that statement to be trotted out for any and all public relations events. Meanwhile, I'd expect their corporate culture to run down profits and bonuses while constantly running cost-benefit calculations on any atrocious societal costs that may stand in their way – that is, if it’s cheaper to slowly kill a few dozen locals than change drilling practices, then that’s just the way the polluted cookie crumbles.

    I wonder what Ford’s mission statement was when they were knowingly killing people with their explosions and transmission problems in years gone by? Criminal Justice textbooks are filled with examples of fines and suits associated with scores of deaths that were apparently calculated by the companies to be cheaper than changing their products. If major automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and food producers can knowingly kill people despite any fluffy mission statements to the contrary, I don’t really see how oil and gas companies, as a rule, could be expected to be any different. So, that’s what I would expect from a petroleum company – not that I wouldn’t mind cashing their checks. After all, having low expectations doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m financially suicidal.

    February 28, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.

  • A couple more would be nice:
    1) We will never use eminent domain to deprive private citizens of their property.
    2) We will provide a precise listing of all chemicals used in any and all fracking activities and will VOLUNTARILY provide a unique chemical marker to those chemicals so that independent laboratory tests can quickly and accurately identify any ground water contamination our operations have produced so that our liability is readily evident.

    February 25, 2012 at 3:32 p.m.