Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Money Comes To Fracking, With Exxon Purchase

Exxon Mobil has spent $31 billion to buy XTO Energy, a leading speculator in shale gas drilling.

Exxon Mobil brings considerable resources to promote shale gas drilling in U.S. fields discovered by smaller companies such as XTO in the past decade.

The smaller companies have indicated they might not have the resources to meet legal and environmental challenges when controversial drilling practices (known as hydrofracturing, or "fracking") come to populated areas, such as central New York, where citizen groups have formed to protest degradation of local landscapes, infrastructure, and water supplies.

Exxon Mobil's buyout certainly changes the political landscape. The company is the second-largest (behind General Electric) corporate spender in federal lobbying. It has recently come under fire for its efforts to discredit global climate change science, which it considers harmful to its financial interests.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

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