You have been discussing ethical issues with your friend Martha over the last
month and she seems interested in your new found affinity for ethical theory as a
result of an engineering ethics class you took recently.
Martha, who knows very
little about ethical theory, is a venture capitalist in the process of making a sizable
investment in the small energy exploration company Rand Energy Resources.
Rand is about to begin drilling in the oil rich Bakkan formation located in North
Dakota. Martha was born and raised in North Dakota and much of her family still
resides in the region. If Rand’s seismic data is correct, Martha stands to make a
large sum of money when flowback rates are announced. However, Martha is
having reservations about making the investment given recent concerns regarding
the hydraulic fracturing process and the potential damage it may cause to the
surrounding area. Furthermore, Martha is beginning to express concern about
the environment in general and the fossil fuel industries’ possible role in climate
Martha is seeking advice on how to proceed and she has asked to you to give her
some guidance using your knowledge of ethical and moral theory. Please present
her with an argument as to how to proceed incorporating at least one
ethical/environmental theory to support your answer. You may also provide her
with two alternatives using two different theories if you feel it is applicable. Make
sure to address both of the macro and micro issues Martha is concerned about.
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Remember, Martha is seeking ethical advice not financial advice.