|This may not be the best business model|
It's economically easy to reduce demand by taxing oil/gas consumption. It's not politically easy because most people prefer cheaper energy today to a viable environment tomorrow. (Alternatively, politicians take bribes from oil/gas companies and ignore people's wishes.)
Now let's talk about pollution from "unconventional" sources such shale oil and gas that's produced from oil sands and/or fracking. I am talking about these methods because:
- We're pretty familiar with pollution from conventional production methods
- Unconventional production has a disproportionate impact on water (groundwater in particular)
- Canada (where I'm living) has a lot of activity in oil/tar sands shale gas/oil
First of all, oil and gas companies are making lots of mistakes
- This study claims fracking wells pollute groundwater. It seems flawed, but we won't know because drillers aren't serious about measuring pre-drilling, baseline data.
- They are spilling oil in surprising ways
- They are dumping fracking fluids rather than cleaning them up -- just as they've done with tailings water in the oil sands
- In 2011, Alberta companies pledged to clean up oil sands tailing ponds
- In 2012, COSIA (Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) pledged to move forward in 2013
- As of now, COSIA is hosting conferences to discuss solutions, i.e., doing nothing
- Their sloppy construction methods save money but increase pollution
- They are not keeping promises to clean up pollution
- They are playing games to avoid paying royalties
- Even Colbert can't resist making fun of their idiocy [Canada, from 3:45]
neither does the former president of Shell.
Bottom line: As I said before, oil and gas companies need to clean up after themselves. It may cost a little money now, but it will save a LOT of money later.