Written by Miranda Marquit
Will the oil spill in San Francisco affect Big Oil's image?
Photo:Clive C, Creative Commons, Flickr
Wednesday's oil spill in the San Francisco Bay brings up further questions about using "dirty" energy. Big Oil companies, most notably Exxon (XOM) are doing very little to use environmentally friendly practices, and the negative press for a commodity that is already being questioned for energy use as it continues to rise in price could face more scrutiny. The AP reports on the long-term effects likely from the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay:
"The effects of the oil spill could persist for months and possibly years," said Tina Swanson, a fish biologist with the Bay Institute. Thousands of wildlife are expected to be affected, and beaches could take time to clean up. The swimming leg of at least one triathalon had to be canceled in the wake of the spill.
Oil prices are still high, and some think that oil prices are due for a correction. And with the negative news on a variety of fronts, people may become more inclined to push clean energy sources, rather than relying on an energy source that could be considered unreliable (since much of it comes from unstable and hostile countries) and now, dirty and damaging to the environment.
In an era where environmental concerns coincide with energy security issues, how long can Big Oil maintain its high profits? And how long before the public starts demanding cleaner, more secure energy sources?
Disclosure: I do not own XOM. I do not own any Big Oil stocks. But I am considering Statoil (STO).