Alternative Energy could Mean Better PR for Energy Companies


In today’s society, energy production is an important aspect of our society, as is how we attain it.  In a world that is fixated on how things are perceived, it would seem rational for companies of the United States, as well as companies from other countries around the world, to replace the traditional generation of energy from nonrenewable energy sources to renewable energy sources not only for the sake of our life and that of future generations, but also to maintain good public relations.  

The majority of energy generated in the U.S. is derived from fossil fuels, such as coal and gas. However, the extraction process of these resources impacts the environment and has several negative consequences.  People from different regions of our nation are not satisfied with how companies operate in terms of environmental degradation.  Filing law suits against companies for damage to one’s property or community does occur and ultimately taints companies’ persona.  Therefore, if companies of our country make the change from fossil fuels to alternative energy to save the environment from degrading, it would seem expected that such companies would maintain an esteemed public image.

To break it down, fossil fuel extraction and burning has a variety of consequences.  For the extraction of coal, mountaintop removal is sometimes used along with surface mining.  This not only destroys the wildlife and land of the area, but also impacts the environment in terms of pollution.  Many people in areas where this occurs are not happy about the effects of companies’ doings on their ecosystem.  Extracting coal and burning coal is responsible for:

  • Releasing greenhouse gases that cause climate change
  • Contaminating groundwater and water systems
  • Dumping waste onto land and in water systems
  • Flooding
  • Acid rain
  • Sludge

The extraction of oil is also known for its negative impacts on the environment.  For instance, BP was responsible for a tragic incident that involved oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico last year and it is still suffering from spilling a dangerous, nonrenewable resource.  In addition to oil spills, oil produces byproducts of wastewater and sludge that can be dangerous to wildlife, as well as harm humans, not to mention the carbon dioxide that is emitted from automobiles. 

Companies that face environmental issues such as this one have irreparable damage to their name and it is not uncommon for such companies to struggle to overcome their tainted reputation.  However if energy production was created by a different means, such as renewable energy sources, it would be fairly easier to maintain a respectable public image because energy would still be created, yet it would not be polluting the planet for the future. 

Natural gas drilling is a relatively new way for extracting gas from below earth’s surface, however it has been found to have negative environmental consequences, also.  Not only does drilling cause drinking water to be contaminated, but also natural gas drilling can cause smog.  Smog is a contributor to ozone which is another greenhouse that causes climate change, and places like Wyoming were recently experiencing dangerously high levels of smog statewide.

On the other hand, alternative energy has positive effects, including the fact that it has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, which could be an aspect of good public relations in an economy such as the present one.  Even President Obama vowed to take steps towards using renewable sources for alternative energy in the U.S.  As the U.S. adapts to different sources of energy generation, other developing countries may be urged to follow in our footsteps toward a healthier planter.

The following are forms of alternative energy that come from renewable sources:

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Biomass

These types of energy generation are clean, environmentally friendly, sustainable and dependable, in addition to some being cost effective.  Naturally it would appear that companies that create alternative energy would be able to preserve a well-thought-of public image due to their sustainability and care for the planet.  

The negative consequences caused by extracting fossil fuels and natural gas are responsible for many companies that do the extracting to be held up in court and tied to the legal system simply because groups oppose the harm they are causing to the environment.  If energy companies would consider alternative energy production they would be more accepted from the community while constantly maintaining reputable public relations.


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