Energy: Bailing Out in Parachute

Exxon's cancellation of the Colony Shale Oil Project was more than a huge financial loss for the world's largest energy company. It was also a startling and crushing blow to the 2,100 workers who lost their jobs and to the merchants in the small prosperity. boomtowns that had been enjoying an Exxon-fueled prosperity.

No one except the company's top executives knew that the bust was coming. Most of the stunned employees at Colony first heard the news on radio or TV. In Battlement Mesa, a half-finished company town built by Exxon, a few...

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