Ethics Assessment

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Determine the relevant facts
PlentErgy is a publicly-traded oil and gas company. Their operations have been mainly in Texas and Oklahoma; however, they do not want to miss out on the current oil boom in North Dakota. The oil is in the Bakken Shale deposit. PlentErgy has the skills and experience in hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” which is the process used for releasing oil and gas from rock formations like the Bakken Shale found in North Dakota. PlentErgy is confident in their ability to use fracking safely and successfully in order to release oil and gas from sites they will lease North Dakota. However, there are ethical concerns with fracking and its association with waste disposal which has been controversial. PlentErgy is concerned about the possibility of ruining their reputation. PlentErgy must be able to ensure that their decision to partake in fracking in North Dakota adheres to the highest ethical standards in order to not harm the company’s reputation.

Identify the ethical issues
PlentErgy want to partake in the oil boom in North Dakota, but is unsure as to the effects it will have on their reputation as a company. Companies that are currently drilling in North Dakota have been unethical in their practices. They have not been careful with the disposition of the waste materials that come from fracking. As a result local have become infuriated due to the illegal dumping that has contaminated water sources and farm land. There is little being done to prevent illegal practices because of a limitation of manpower in government agencies. With such fed up locals will PlentErgy even have a chance to prove their reputation or will they immediately be rejected by the community? Companies produce millions of gallons of salty, chemical-infused wastewater, known as brine, as part of drilling and fracking each well. Drillers are supposed to inject this material thousands of feet underground into disposal wells, but some of it isn't making it that...
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