THE POWERS AND principalities of this world don’t rest, as we were reminded this fall when ExxonMobil announced it was spending about $60 billion to buy one of the largest fracking companies on Earth (followed two weeks later by Chevron’s announced $53 billion acquisition of oil driller Hess). ExxonMobil cheerfully said that once the deal closes, its production volume in Texas’ Permian Basin would more than double to 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
“The combined capabilities of our two companies will provide long-term value creation well in excess of what either company is capable of doing on a standalone basis,” ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said in a statement, which is also a reminder that the powers and principalities use language differently than the rest of us. In this case “value creation” is synonymous with “creation destruction” — those millions of barrels a day translate directly into carbon dioxide, which translates directly into fire, flood, and immiseration. They are running Genesis in reverse, but the money’s good.