ExxonMobil has been running full-page ads that make underground hydraulic fracturing operations — the same ones responsible for massive environmental problems all over the U.S. — look about as threatening as a World Book encyclopedia illustration of a water pipe.

The ads highlight the multiple layers of steel and concrete used to protect shallow aquifers. Too bad this casing fails regularly, according to ProPublica, leading to multiple accidents in the American Northeast, as well as Colorado and Ohio.

The ad also falsely implies that these layers of protection extend the full length of the well — turns out that they don't. That's probably less significant than the casing failures, which threaten relatively shallow water supplies, but it's still sneaky.

Also sneaky: ExxonMobil and Chevron's shareholders have just rejected proposals to disclose more data on their fracking operations. Looks like the world's most profitable company is trying mightily to control the message that gets to the public — no doubt because they're totally innocent of all wrongdoing!

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