ExxonMobil is Green. Will Media Notice?

From the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 to the high gas prices of 2008, the mainstream media has spent years finding ways to bash ExxonMobil. But here’s something the media should have a hard time finding fault with Exxon for: in its August 24 issue, Forbes magazine named ExxonMobil the “Green Company of the Year.” Forbes’ Christopher Helman praised the oil and gas company for its efforts to go green. And it’s about time ExxonMobil got some positive press.

Helman praised the company because “ExxonMobil’s real thrust into green energy is a big bet on natural gas.” Exxon is currently finishing up a multibillion dollar project in Qatar that will be the home of the largest natural gas field in the world. “Per unit of energy delivered, methane releases 40% to 50% less carbon dioxide than coal and a quarter less than petroleum,” Helman explained. Exxon also is putting millions into algae farms that will produce automotive fuel from sunlight. The latter project Helman described as “purely political” – a not-very realistic move to buy “ExxonMobil some peace with environmentalists.”

Helman mused, “Windmills and solar panels might make us feel good, but a better solution might be to give bad ol’ Big Oil the chance to develop our own bountiful supplies of natural gas.” Helman may be willing to be Exxon a chance, but when it comes to the mainstream media, don’t hold your breath.

In 2006, ABC’s Charles Gibson proclaimed on “Worlds News” that the company’s profits were “too high.” Gibson declared in 2008 ExxonMobil’s profits were obscene. “obscene.” Earlier that year, on NBC’s “Nightly News,” Brian Williams stated that the company’s profits possibly “were out of line.”

Exxon has been criticized for more than just making money. On CBS’s “The Evening News” correspondent Armen Keteyian strangely enough pondered why oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, were not drilling more in 2009. This despite the fact that the Democrats, their environmentalist backers and the media itself would howl at the sight of another oil derrick going up.