This week, Exxon Mobil launched Perspectives, a blog about “issues, policies, technologies, and trends” surrounding energy development. Yes, that includes oil, and yes, they kick off by talking about the mess in the Gulf of Mexico.
No, Lionel Osbourne is not a featured blogger.
BP has received the lion’s share of the public scorn since the spill, but other companies remain vulnerable to regulations and increased taxes. It isn’t an immediate challenge, but Exxon Mobil didn’t wait for the problem to come to them.
It would have been easier, in the short term, for Exxon Mobil to act like the accomplice of the kid who gets punished for a grade school food fight – sit on their hands, let BP continue to be yelled at by authority figures, and keep quiet hoping none of the outrage falls on you. The problem with that strategy is that, eventually, the story will not be about BP’s specific failings but the failings – and potential failings – of the industry as a whole.
Of course the blog is biased and slanted, but Exxon Mobil makes no effort to hide its involvement. Perspectives is clearly branded as the official Exxon Mobil company line – take it for what its worth. And doing that now will help Exxon Mobil’s credibility (at least somewhat) in future discussions about what their obligations should be. Plus they’ll likely to have some thoughts on what BP’s obligations are too.