Thus, the energy industry is telling the people there will be accidents. There will be deaths. There will be health and environmental consequences. But, they are acceptable because "mitigation" allows a corporation to accept errors, injuries, illnesses, environmental destruction, and even death if they believe there is a "greater [financial] good" that outweighs those risks. It is the same argument that Ford used in the 1970s when it decided not to recall and repair the Pinto because it estimated the cost to pay compensation for injuries and deaths from faulty construction would be significantly less than the cost of a recall.
There is something more about Rex W. Tillerson. He's proud of his association with the Boy Scouts. He's a former Eagle Scout and was president of the national Boy Scouts of America. (Both the Boy Scouts and ExxonMobil have their headquarters in Irving, Texas.) Part of the Scout Oath is to "do your duty to God and your country." A partial interpretation of that is " by working for your country's good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country." Within the past six months, ExxonMobil has paid more than $5 million in fines and penalties for not obeying the country's laws.
The 12th part of the Scout Law is to be reverent. A widely-accepted interpretation of that law, according to Scouting Trail, is: "As a Scout experiences the wonders of the outdoors, stormy weather and calm blue skies, pounding surf and trickling streams, bitter cold and stifling heat, towering trees and barren desert, he experiences the work of God. . . . We need to play the role of steward rather than king--tending and caring for our world instead of taking all we can for our own comfort."
Protesting the construction of a water tower because it might lower property values, even for selfish purposes, is Tillerson's right as a citizen. But, destroying God's world to maximize your profits is not his right.
[Dr. Brasch, an Eagle Scout and an award-winning journalist, is the author of 20 books. His latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania , an in-depth investigation of the economic, political, environmental, and health effects of fracking.]
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