Last week, Exxon-Mobil, the integrated oil and gas company, had their annual shareholders meeting in their headquarters town of Houston, Texas. As a result of shareholder action, they now have three new members of their board of directors, from the Environmentalist non-profit called Engine No. 1. This group wants to basically put Exxon-Mobil and other oil companies out of business, claiming that they are the biggest causes of what is now called “climate change”, but used to be called “global warming”. The environmentalists care not a whit for the thousands of employees, and dozens of towns that would be destroyed with the demise of the oil and gas industry. So, below is what I think the CEO of Exxon-Mobil should have said to those shareholders.
Gentlemen, in case you hadn’t noticed, Exxon-Mobil is an OIL AND GAS COMPANY. Our job is finding, extracting, and selling Oil and Gas to consumers all over the world. From plastics-makers, to gasoline and heating oil refiners, to electric-power producers, our products, literally, run the world. We do NOT need you to tell us how to run our business, or that we are “contributing to climate change”, or that we are required to participate in the so-called “clean energy transformation” that you and governments have decided must come. We know that our products will be needed for many decades to come, and that inexpensive oil and gas will help the near-poor around the world to march up the economic ladder. Exxon-Mobil employs thousands of people world-wide, in what you like to call “living-wage” jobs, and we intend to keep all of them gainfully employed, not put out of work by you “environmentalists” who think you know how the world should work. Also in case you hadn’t noticed, the clothes on your back, the shoes on your feet, the notebook and computer on your desk, are all made from petroleum products.
Finally, you, we, and all human beings are made of carbon, and exhale carbon dioxide all day and night long. The plants and trees you idolize require carbon dioxide to live, and any “carbon-neutral” economy might just deprive your precious plants of life. So, please, do not try to run our oil and gas business. We do not, and will not, buy in to the elimination of our livelihoods and the best source of energy that humanity has ever discovered. If you want to go bother the real worst polluters in the world, go buy stock in Communist Chinese, and Russian oil companies, and coal companies, who will still be going full blast. Then, try to affect how they operate-just try to get the Communist Chinese and Russians to give up coal and oil. Good luck.
P.S. Since you are human beings too, made of and exhaling carbon dioxide, you are welcome to do your part to reduce emissions by assuming room temperature.