Uncaring, elitist quote from ExxonMobil CEO says much about how some corporations feel about us

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I’m not only a passionate animal-lover, I’m also an unwavering tree-hugger. So when I saw a headline this morning about a statement on climate change from the CEO of ExxonMobil, I had to read the article.

The good news comes in the fact that Rex Tillerson acknowledges in an MSNBC.com article that fossil fuel consumption does contribute to climate change. But on the other hand, he apparently doesn’t think it’s to much degree at all – or that it’s all that serious a problem.

Okay. It’s a step in the right direction. I get it. He can’t go full-out or toss all of the cards on the table and completely admit there’s a human impact on the climate. He’s the CEO of a huge oil company.

But then about midway into the article the topic turns to fracking for natural gas. Once again, Tillerson makes a pretty big admission, but says the situation isn’t all that bad. He is quoted as saying –

“The consequences of a misstep in a well, while large to the immediate people that live around that well, in the great scheme of things are pretty small.”

Oh, now I get it. I guess for Big Oil the impact of the Exxon Valdez spill was just large for the area of the spill, but was pretty small in the grand scheme. The massive Gulf Oil Gusher, with all of its horrible impacts for people and wildlife was just a local thing? No big deal? Pretty small?

It just screams to me like a statement from some sort of Mr. Potter-like character from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” – If the health and welfare of humans and wildlife at the local level is negatively impacted, that’s a pretty small price to pay for corporate success.

I’m all for capitalism in it’s base form, where companies grow and are successful and hire people and help make the economy grow. But this warped form of capitalism, where the money and greed have all but taken over our government and our elections – and where the airways are flooded with propaganda every day – is dangerous.

When we see quotes like this, it offers more evidence that gutting environment regulations would be a huge mistake. What we need are better regulations. The environment belongs to all of us and we should never support selling it off to the highest campaign donor.