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Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Waste In Pennsylvania

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the looks-like-you-spilled-something dept.

Earth 246

Exxon has been charged with illegally dumping over 50,000 gallons of wastewater at a shale-gas drilling site in Pennsylvania. From the article: 'Exxon unit XTO Energy Inc. discharged the water from waste tanks at the Marquandt well site in Lycoming County in 2010, according to a statement on the website of Pennsylvania’s attorney general. The pollution was found during an unannounced visit by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The inspectors discovered a plug removed from a tank, allowing the wastewater to run onto the ground, polluting a nearby stream. XTO was ordered to remove 3,000 tons of soil to clean up the area. Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum, the attorney general’s statement showed. “Criminal charges are unwarranted and legally baseless,” the XTO unit said yesterday in a statement posted on its website. “There was no intentional, reckless or negligent misconduct by XTO.”'

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Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (5, Insightful)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#44825831)

I'm getting sick of these companies getting away with fines or other slaps on the wrist. I want to see at least some of these thugs in the upper tiers behind bars!

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44825895)

I'm getting sick of these companies getting away with fines or other slaps on the wrist. I want to see at least some of these thugs in the upper tiers behind bars!

Mayhap a trail of emails or (shudder) NSA monitored phones can catch them.

Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum,

Sounds like the average energy drink...

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44826145)

Nah, profits define morality, so by the NSA's standards they are doing nothing wrong. Now if they were polluting for free they might get in trouble.

No (4, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44825925)

they're your ruling class, silly. We don't spill the blood of kings.

Re:No (2)

asm2750 (1124425) | about a year ago | (#44825963)

Obviously you haven't heard of the French Revolution.

Re:No (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44826455)

Unfortunately the French Revolution was very indiscriminate.

see: Antoine Lavoisier

Re:No (1, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44826495)

In America? Not a chance.
The NRA and the gun-toting loudmouths will make a big fuss about needing firearms to defend against Obama, er, government tyranny, tree of liberty, blood of patriots, blah, blah.

But to actually rise up against the establishment?
That's for college students, weed-smoking liberal hippies, unwashed OWS layabouts and Muslims.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44826657)

Yeah those "college students, weed smoking liberal hippies, and unwashed OWS layabouts" have done a really good job. Remind me again which political groups that they've worked for that have been acted for/to american society? And of course those "NRA gun-toting loudmouths" were also the backbenchers behind the tea party which ... gee...actually made a serious impact on the political landscape.

Re:No (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44826899)

So what? Read the parent and grandparent comments.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44826905)

a serious impact on the political landscape.

Yes, but not a good one. Eric Cantor and Mitch McConell have yet to do anything useful or intelligent.

Re:No (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826993)

You don't think OWS had a serious impact on the political landscape?

Either you haven't been paying attention or you have a blind spot.

Re:No (-1, Troll)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44826677)

But to actually rise up against the establishment?
That's for college students, weed-smoking liberal hippies, unwashed OWS layabouts and Muslims.

Please provide recent examples of any of those groups actually "rising up", as opposed to simply "causing annoyance", "shouting down unapproved viewpoints", or "rioting, with a little rape thrown in".

Of course, if those gun-toting loudmouths actually used their weapons to show their disgust with the government, you would be calling them murderers and traitors, with "racists" thrown in for good measure. Give me a break; as if you actually want the right-wingers to act like you have them portrayed in your little mind. The people shooting other people are from the groups you surely think are being mistreated the most. Let's see you disarm them, eh.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44826977)

The reason for using weapons matters, not just the fact that someone is willing to open fire.
Those Ted Nugent loudmouths talk a big game and while I'm sure many are serious, most will shit themselves like he did when called to action.

Although I disapprove of guns in schools for any reason, I'd sooner arm elementary school teachers than any of the 2nd amendment wingnuts.
At least I know the people like the ones at Sandy Hook will actually put their lives on the line for what they believe in, whether or not they believe they have a right to pack heat.

Here's right-winger David Frum's take on the matter:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/opinion/frum-guns-race/index.html [cnn.com]

Re: No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44827045)

Weed got legalized in a couple states, yo.

Re:No (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826169)

Fine, we can always rape them to death. Satisfied?

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44825931)

I want companies to be executed for crimes that would warrant it for us. That would require shareholders to have broad powers to correct misconduct since they will lose everything if they're not fixing them.

You convict them, lock up all management and take everything needed to clean up their mess and then revoke their right to run as a business. If the shareholders are culpable you keep 80% of the sale. They can spin and get papercuts on their share paperwork.

Those chemicals are an assault with a deadly weapon of mass destruction. They should be put up against the wall and shot.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1, Troll)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44826345)

Agreed. After all, "Corporations are people too, my friend."

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44826501)

Well, Mitt Romney said it. It must be true. And he supports the death penalty.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44826013)

I want to see at least some of these thugs in the upper tiers behind bars!

I'd be happy to see them eat their own dog food. Put a GPS ankle-bracelet on them and make them live on the polluted land and drink the polluted water.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44826133)

I certainly agree that I'd like criminal charges applied to decision makers at companies like this. BUT...

50,000 gallons isn't that much water. It was a 10,000 gallon-per-day spill. That's garden-hose territory. The fact that they were made to clean it up and pay fines seems reasonable to me - I'm not sure jail time is warranted here.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (5, Insightful)

nicobigsby (1418849) | about a year ago | (#44826175)

The problem is the goddamn double standard. Spray a few ounces of spray paint on a wall, and you get criminal charges pressed against you. Hell there was a guy arrested for writing in chalk outside Bank of America, on the sidewalks... wash away chalk. But dump 50k gallons of polluted water into the wild and it's all NBD.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44826281)

But they didn't deliberately deface anything - they left a plug out of a tank, which leaked contaminated water at a rate which may not have seemed significant. They seem to have made good on the cleanup. Intent matters - that's why we have murder and manslaughter.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (4, Insightful)

ireallyhateslashdot (2297290) | about a year ago | (#44826397)

And also why we have such a thing as "negligence". They apparently were negligent; either in their maintenance protocols, equipment checks, or, well, making sure that contaminated waste is securely and safely managed. I would say that that warrants a criminal charge, but that's just my opinion.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44826555)

They seem to have made good on the cleanup. Intent matters - that's why we have murder and manslaughter.

Then again, people do go to jail for manslaughter as well as murder.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1)

nicobigsby (1418849) | about a year ago | (#44826635)

This didn't result in the loss of human life. Who knows what might have happened? The plug could have come undone. My father manages the (clean) water for a property and even a small plug left unfastened can leak insane amounts of water in a short period of time.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1)

nicobigsby (1418849) | about a year ago | (#44826625)

Guess I should have read the article more closely. Originally, the phrasing and headline (sigh, sensationalization anybody?) made it seem like it was intentional. Seems like it wasn't which means my previous comment was made out of ignorance. Sorry, I will try to be better at this.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826225)

50,000 gallons isn't that much water. It was a 10,000 gallon-per-day spill. That's garden-hose territory. The fact that they were made to clean it up and pay fines seems reasonable to me - I'm not sure jail time is warranted here.

Depends all on what was in it... oil for example can contaminate drinking water at 1 ppm. So one gallon of oil can make one million gallons of water undrinkable. Not saying oil was in it, just as an example. 50,000 gallons of polluted water could mix with 100 million gallons of clean water to make 100,050,000 gallons of polluted water.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (3, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44826787)

I wonder who came up with that specific 'fact', that oil is a contaminant right at 'one part per million'. It certainly makes the "one gallon of oil can make one million gallons of water undrinkable" line sound horrible, but what is the basis in fact?

Is 0.8 ppm safe, but 1.0 deadly? What about 0.6 ppm? Is water contaminated when one gallon of oil spills into a 2-million gallon tank? For that matter, oil floats on top of water, so how does the lower 99% get contaminated? If somehow a gallon of oil was mixed into water in such a way that every molecule of oil was separate, and each molecule floated 7 inches from any other one, how many gallons would be contaminated by that oil?

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44826543)

50,000 gallons isn't that much water. It was a 10,000 gallon-per-day spill. That's garden-hose territory. The fact that they were made to clean it up and pay fines seems reasonable to me - I'm not sure jail time is warranted here.

Wouldn't that sort of depend on what was in the water? That's 6 gallons per minute. It is a bit of a witches brew they are spewing in my backyard. Gasoline? Sulfuric acid? You'd support that being dumped in your backyard?

The real blast from TFA is:

“Charging XTO under these circumstances could discourage good environmental practices,”

We've only been told for years that we must punish all offenders heavily.

It only follows that if we remove all environmental restrictions, no fines, no punishment, it will encourage the energy companies to be unrelenting in their pursuit of no spills ever.

Personally, I think if the Energy company Executive board, and the politicians that they own, and their families were forced to drink the water they are dumping, and not stop drinking it until they dispose of 50 thousand gallons of it, we will see the problem disappear in no time, never to be repeated.

Because it doesn't affect them right now. They don't live there. The people and animals who live in these regions don't mean anything to them.

But perhaps they should be concerned. Underlying the Marcellus shale is a deeper gas bearing shale - the Utica. The Utica extends into areas that are populated, some with fairly wealthy people who might take umbrage at pads set up in their neighborhood.

It will happen. I'm not anti-gas extraction. But I can hardly wait until it becomes a problem for people who dismiss it as inconsequential at this moment. People do tend to care a little more when it is their ox getting gored.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44826923)

We've only been told for years that we must punish all offenders heavily.

Told by idiots. What's your take on the War on Drugs? All drug carrying offenders must be punished heavily, amirite?

Re: Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44827061)

There's a double standard, right? Punish the poor, let the corporations off.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826151)

for this to happen, you probably need to make illegal political contributions by companies

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826293)

They have also gotten away with not showing a complete list of every chemical they use in there fracking process, claiming it is a "trade secret". How f'in secretive can it be when every drilling company is fracking? This was something Congress yet again failed at, why? because the companies are buying off politicians.. the DEP is a defunct org to begin with, and someone or several people/complaints, if not that the DEP, or someone was testing the water, and found levels of chemicals that shouldn't have been there.

I can promise you companies have been doing this, despite "fracking waste water recycling" businesses in the state. Local papers ran an article over one company dumping the waste water, and the DEP still has yet to do anything about it.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826895)

It's no surprise. Republicans drink Big Oil's jizz by the gallon every single day.

Re:Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44826937)

They have also gotten away with not showing a complete list of every chemical they use in there fracking process, claiming it is a "trade secret". How f'in secretive can it be when every drilling company is fracking?

In other words, that's what you'd expect of actual trade secrets of considerable value. If I had a business with no potential competitors, then trade secrets wouldn't have much value.

Re: Can we have someone go to jail now, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44827081)

Like open source has no potential competitors?

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44825835)

butts lol.

They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (2)

Crimey McBiggles (705157) | about a year ago | (#44825837)

Explain that one to me again?

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about a year ago | (#44825957)

When XTO provides 36% of all taxes paid in Lycoming County, they are probably willing to look the other way.

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826385)

Is that really that impressive? I think if a single successful pro football player moved into town you'd see the same tax break.

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (4, Informative)

cirby (2599) | about a year ago | (#44826049)

It's according to how much actual toxic waste was in the water.

While the article (and the excerpt above) mention a list of scary chemicals that "can" be found in wastewater from natural gas drilling, it's also quite possible that the major component was... mud. And a small percentage of oil (usually three percent or less, and even lower for a natural gas well, all the way down to "practically zero") - and other not-very-toxic stuff. Or "toxic chemicals" found in parts per million or lower. If they were using fracking chemicals, the mud might have had some bleach and surfactants in it.

Now, if the rock they were drilling through had a high metal content, the water may have picked up some of that - but probably not too much, overall. Enough to break water standards, but not enough to be actually dangerous.

Since there's no charges, it was probably low-concentration stuff - a technical violation, but not serious.

Re: They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826121)

Apparently the leak contained a large amount of Hydroxylic Acid...

Re: They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826477)

Don't get cute.... that's just an alternate name for dihydrogen monoxide, with the "acid" thrown in to sound all scary and stuff.

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44826571)

Now, if the rock they were drilling through had a high metal content, the water may have picked up some of that - but probably not too much, overall. Enough to break water standards, but not enough to be actually dangerous.

Since there's no charges, it was probably low-concentration stuff - a technical violation, but not serious.

I can get you some of this stuff if you want to drink it. After all - you declared it not actually dangerous and a technical but not serious violation.

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826945)

Have a look in your super market at the non food parts and see what chemicals are being sold....all this stuff goes down the drain. It is a huge volume of chemicals and much of it nastier than those pesky fracking chemicals....Maybe you would like to drink some of your grey water?

Re: They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44827099)

We shouldn't be adding to pollution. We shouldn't be reasoning like: "Well everyone else does it, so I can too." That's the type of market groupthink that led to toxic assets.

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826387)

It's called plausible deniability [wikipedia.org]

Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (4, Interesting)

fl!ptop (902193) | about a year ago | (#44826637)

Explain that one to me again?

Because shit happens. I've worked at several big chemical plants and all of them have had spills. (To me, this sounds like a "spill" and not "dumping waste.") It's just the nature of the beast, nothing works perfectly all the time. At one plant in particular, vandals/kids/idiots with too much time on their hands got onto the property (not hard to do when the facility covers thousands of acres) and removed a cover off a pipe, causing thousands of gallons of water with a ph of about 1 to flow into a nearby stream, which eventually made its way into the bay and caused a large fish kill. Yes, the company was fined. Yes, corrective action was taken to avoid it from happening again.

From what I read, Exxon cleaned up the contaminated area as best they could. I seriously doubt the spill was done on purpose. I live in the middle of frack-land and these oil companies are spending millions buying/leasing mineral rights, hauling equipment in and out, drilling, fracking, trucking out wastewater and hauling equipment away. Millions of dollars are spent at each drill site. They're not going to risk "dumping" wastewater to save a few bucks on having it hauled away.

Yes, it happens (3, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#44825853)

And it will continue to happen, no matter the technology.
Nuke, frak, solar panel production, high capacity battery production....some idiot middle manager will try to reduce costs at his level, and this is what we get.

Re:Yes, it happens (3, Insightful)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#44825869)

Then it's time to ruin the lives of those idiot managers. Say to the tune of 5-10 years of wearing an orange jumpsuit in lieu of an Armani jacket?

Re:Yes, it happens (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#44826031)

Plus a significant percentage of company gross income.

How come (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44825937)

when it's a mistake it's 'some middle manager' but whenever something goes right it's 'the CEO's leadership'. Man, I wish I could fsck up and my job all day and blame all the guys that don't get to make any real decisions...

Re:How come (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44826523)

If you could do that, you'd be the CEO.

Now what? (0, Flamebait)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44825859)

My friend had a 50,000 gallon above-ground pool in his backyard. If it's even a problem due to exotic chemicals, make them clean it up. It's not that much.

Why the hell is this a topic aside from obvious desire by some for disasterbation? It would barely be a local news story in some small town.

Re:Now what? (-1, Troll)

MasseKid (1294554) | about a year ago | (#44825921)

Someone mod this post up, and the story down. This kind of crap should never make it onto the front page.

Re:Now what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44825943)

Are you stupid? Why are you talking about back yard pools? Does your friend's pool have chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum and other chemicals in the pool? If so, this "pool" is probably waste water extracted during shale-gas drilling. If not, then you are just an idiot for not even making a point.

Re:Now what? (2)

edibobb (113989) | about a year ago | (#44826843)

1. Almost any swimming pool will have a some chlorides, such as sodium chloride. The ocean has even more. Salt water is a common by-product in oil and gas wells.
2. The article says "Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum", not that it does. That is hype.
3. Some idiot pulled a plug in a waste tank. It's not a corporate conspiracy. No major oil company would risk dumping wastewater like that.

Re:Now what? (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#44825993)

My friend had a 50,000 gallon above-ground pool in his backyard. If it's even a problem due to exotic chemicals, make them clean it up. It's not that much.

Why the hell is this a topic aside from obvious desire by some for disasterbation? It would barely be a local news story in some small town.

So the company has the decision to make...

(a) $x to dispose of the waste properly

(b) $0 to simply turn on a tap and let the waste drain away, and (say) $10x to clean it up in the unlikely event that they get caught, which probably comes out of some other departments budget anyway

Seems that if there is no actual penalty for (b), then (b) is the obvious choice and it's going to keep happening, which I think is kind of a big deal. It should either be illegal with penalties to suit, or legal and let them do it without any fuss.

If you threw some rubbish on the ground and were caught, and the only penalty was that you had to pick your rubbish up again, where is the incentive to stop doing it again? (assuming you are too lazy to do the right thing in the first place without some incentive)

Now ain't that nice (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44825917)

If I were a protester attempting to shut it down, or prevent it from ever firing up, I would get two years on terrorism charges.

Golden Rule baby. You know the routine.

Business as usual (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44825941)

I'm not sure the public is surprised these days by either talk of a violation/spill or a 'statement' from the corp insisting no wrong doing occurred. This is driven, as always, by the corp. lawyers. They want as little talk of culpability as possible in public so they can cut deals in court and get their client off with as little penalty as they can swing.

What I want to see is the difference between legal and illegal 'dumping'. Sounds redundant, emotional and perhaps an attempt to make things either worse than they actually were - something a prosecutor wants on the public record? If that's the case here, it's a shame because it just muddies the waters for change in the way 'dumping' could otherwise be better controlled when serious events take place. They will happen - it's the reduction in bonehead moves before and after I want changed.

What does that mean? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#44825945)

From TFA:

XTO Energy Inc. is charged with five counts of unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law and three counts of unlawful conduct under the Solid Waste Management Act.

What does it mean for a corporation to face criminal charges? Is this just civil damages in a weird format, or is a specific person/people being held liable? Both linked articles refer only to XTO and not to any individual being charged.

Re:What does that mean? (4, Informative)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about a year ago | (#44826005)

A corporation's board of directors are legally responsible for the company's actions.
Failure to appear when subpoenas are issued will have serious consequences for the billionaires.
You can't just send a lawyer to represent you in a criminal court.
Forcing the people that run the company to show up in court will send a message.

Re:What does that mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826207)

You can, 5th amendment...

Re:What does that mean? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44826361)

Corporations always indemnify directors and officers for actions they take on behalf of the corporation.

Otherwise NOBODY would accept such a position.

Re:What does that mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826465)

You can't just send a lawyer to represent you in a criminal court.

Actually, you can, unless it is an offence you have been bailed to appear for (IANL, but I was talking to one about it). It's easier if you are a coroporation you can send a duly appointed representative, who just happens to be the company lawyer.

Not that i disagree with your sentiment. Forcing the heads of the corporation into court and actually prosecuting them for the company's actions (which are ultimately decided by the C-level and the Board) is a supurb way to send a message. Of course, those same high-level execs will doctor up a few back-dated internal memos advising employees against that kind of thing and put the blame on some low-level grunt who was just following directions, so it won't work.

Captcha: admirals (oh, thie irony).

Re:What does that mean? (1)

Neppy (673459) | about a year ago | (#44826083)

It means they will lawyer up until the government accepts a monetary settlement and all the executives get away unharmed. Or maybe with a bonus for "navigating dire straights" or some such nonsense.

Not negligent misconduct (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44825951)

“There was no intentional, reckless or negligent misconduct by XTO.”'

Soooo... what you're saying here is, your employees are incompetent?

Re:Not negligent misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826759)

The stupid defense. You must acquit.

Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44825975)

They save money and my gas bill is cheaper.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826043)

They save money and my gas bill is cheaper.

Cheap gas? What have you been smoking? Gas NEVER gets cheaper no matter how much money they can "save". It all goes to paying their exorbitant salaries.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826691)

Natural gas, not gasoline, dumbass. NG prices have gone through the floor in the last 5 years owing to shale gas drilling creating a glut.

Robber baron corporate fucktards (2, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44826009)

In Q2 2010, (around when the dumping was occurring), Exxon reported its worst quarterly profits in years. Some might say that explains this, while not excusing this. Corporate pressure to cut budgets was driving lower managers, etc. However, in that -low- quarter, guess how much net profit (not gross revenue) they reported?

6.86 billion dollars

(source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/01/exxon-2q-profit-lowest-since-2010/2608403/ [usatoday.com] )

Yep. In one fucking poor quarter they earned nearly 7 billion in profit. But could not bother to dump waste properly. And this was in the USA, with relatively strict, if often bought, environmental laws and protections. Can you imagine what companies like this do in places that do not care or cannot afford enforcement? Where the African dictator of the month just wants a few million to arm his army of children that go village raping?

This is the type of activity we should be pursuing and punishing. Not Syria, let them kill each other off if they want, lets not make enemies of both sides by dropping bombs and killing innocents (which does happen). Not pot smokers and growers. Not lil Suzy mp3 torrenter. Not Aaron Swartz. Not Snowden.

Anyway, I am done ranting, if you stayed through it you can go back to Football/Idol/TMZ now. Cheers

Re: Robber baron corporate fucktards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826061)

How much did apple make?

Re: Robber baron corporate fucktards (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#44826229)

How much did apple make?

During the same quarter (Q2 2010)? Assuming ExxonMobil and Apple mean the same thing when they say "Q2", it's 3.07 billion dollars [apple.com] .

Re:Robber baron corporate fucktards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826801)

$7 billion sounds like a lot until you look at the fact that they had to spend $100 billion to make it.

Pardon?! (2)

SIR_Taco (467460) | about a year ago | (#44826063)

"The inspectors discovered a plug removed from a tank, allowing the wastewater to run onto the ground, polluting a nearby stream." ...
“There was no intentional, reckless or negligent misconduct by XTO.”'

Not intentional.... okay.
Not reckless nor negligent?! I think someone needs to check the meaning of those words in a non-lawyer dictionary.

Re:Pardon?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826413)

If you operate on someone and you are not a doctor, are you negligent of not going to medical school first or negligent about caring about the requirement or negligent because you are a wild and reckless sort of person? Can negligence and intention be mixed cold?

never been a better example (1)

brillow (917507) | about a year ago | (#44826081)

Of big business controlling the gov't

Why not just fine Exxon 3 billion dollars and send everyone in PA to college for free?

Fracking waste being dumped on roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826105)

In Michigan they are dumping Benzene-laden fracking waste on the roads, and mostly getting away with it.

http://www.shalereporter.com/blog/suzie_gilbert/article_f442c14c-08f5-11e3-9ea9-0019bb30f31a.html [shalereporter.com]

Re:Fracking waste being dumped on roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826407)

Dilution is the solution.

A term commonly used to describe taking highly radioactive waste and diluting it to make much more lower level radioactive waste. Even with more waste, it is cheaper to get rid of because there are less restrictions.
   

Slashdot song (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826119)

News for nerds, stuff that matters
A slogan that is now in tatters

Why bother? ask the faithful few
If stories stink like hangover poo?

Yet hope remains that one day soon
Slashdot will stop acting like a loon

Python v. C! RMS or Linus? Latest stupid user tricks.
What more is need for us cyber-hicks?

Free Market (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44826181)

That wasn't "wastewater", that was Exxon's proprietary formula of Hydroxylic Acid. And any children who are found with Hyrdoxylic Acid in their bloodstream better get ready get sued by Exxon.

Job CreatorsTM, bitches!

Re:Free Market (0)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44826391)

Could have been worse... could have been Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826951)

I got your sarcasm but how about twisting things a little bit and call it CW deployed by Exxon?

Intent doesn't matter (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year ago | (#44826371)

If they weren't negligent, it wouldn't have happened. If I hit someone, accidentally, with my car and they die, I still get charged. If corporations want to have "people" rights when it comes to campaign finance, they can suffer the consequences when they fuck up like this, intentionally or not.

Full of BS (1)

connor4312 (2608277) | about a year ago | (#44826381)

Their full article can be viewed here [xtoenergy.com] . One of the especially cute things I find on the page is that they give an image of a parking lot, a truck, and some grass to the side. The caption invites the viewer to "[n]ote the... absence of long-term environmental impact." Sorry, XTO, but having green grass on the side of your parking lot does not prove a lack of long-term environmental impact. Not to mention the fact that putting in the parking lot has some significant impacts in and of itself...

So this time they got caught (2)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#44826409)

What are the chances that this is the only time they screwed up? I expect that this is standard operating procedure, and they only work legally when they know someone is going to show up.

I wonder what would happen if the fine was large and applied to fund more random inspections. I think it would show they are routinely flaunting the law. If there was any effective law enforcement it might even show a criminal conspiracy. Fortunately no one has to worry about that, because the real outcome will be the result of political pressure to stop inspections.

50000 gallons... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826453)

You all realize that the amount of water spilled is only 50,000 gallons; That's approximately 1/10th the volume of an Olympic swimming pool.

government to blame as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826469)

gotta love all the statists attacking the company for this. not even a single person here is pointing out how the GOVERNMENT failed here big time. what a statist joke Slashdot has become.

GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!!!!! !!!!! !!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826777)

DAMN RIGHT!! !!!! About time somebody has the guts to say this! Government is responsible for everything bad that happens. Bad article on Slashdot? Government. Dog getting sick? Government. Kids getting bad grades at school, even a private school? Government. My alcoholism? Government.

But in ultra, hard-left America, you have to have guts to say this. Most people who dare to speak up against the liberals get shot!

Attorney general (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44826623)

attorney general’s statement showed. “Criminal charges are unwarranted and legally baseless,”

Of course they won't prosecure.

Professional courtesy.

From one criminal [wikipedia.org] to another. The big banks [thehill.com] were also afforded this courtesy, of arbitrary refusal to prosecute by the US AG.

Re:Attorney general (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826981)

Has anyone ever said that you might be paranoid?

Selective language in reporting and charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826679)

For those not aware, shale gas extraction is done by hydraulic fracturing, aka fracing.

I find it interesting that the aforementioned articles do not mention that drilling methodology at all. I don't think there is any 'conspiracy of sorts' going on, however I do think the reporting is being very selective of language by not mentioning this criminal act, along with hydraulic fracturing.

A hefty fine (1)

rbanzai (596355) | about a year ago | (#44826707)

This could cost Exxon HUNDREDS of dollars!

Fucking Democrats! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826817)

Damn those socialist Democrats!

They're interfering with a company doing business the way it wants to do. And thanks to them, all our gas prices are gonna go up now.

Companies never pay taxes or fines, they just raise prices and pass them on to us, the consumer.

We Liberals, real Liberals, need to work together and fight this bullshit. Get rid of those nasty environmental laws because they don't accomplish anything. If you don't like the way a company is dealing with its hazardous waste, don't buy their products and encourage others to do the same. Let the free market take care of things.

The invisible hand of the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44826925)

It wasn't Exxon's fault, it was the invisible hand of the free market!

Exxon are legally required to make the maximum possible profits for the shareholders. When Exxon get their $1 Million fine, everybody will realize that they did in fact make the correct business decision.

The $4 Million that spent on campaign contributions in 2012 is looking like great value right about now - for some reason. As is the $13 Million that they spent on lobbyists in 2012.

Bravo Exxon - you epitomize the American Dream!

A cube less than 6 meters on a side? (1)

Strange Attractor (18957) | about a year ago | (#44826969)

That's what I get for 189 tons of water.

Does anyone else get something different?

Chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum? I suppose that it was not as bad as water from the Great Salt Lake.

Why is this a slashdot story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44827073)

Why is this a slashdot story?

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