ExxonMobil Boasts That Environmental Regulations Will Never Happen

Think oil companies are nervous about governmental efforts to reduce carbon emissions? Think again. Investors recently challenged ExxonMobil to project how green policies will affect their profits in the upcoming decades, and the corporation responded that it foresees no such restrictions impeding it from conducting business as usual, reports Grist.

Granted, ExxonMobil’s official report falls short of arrogantly laughing at the premise that anyone would stop the company from burning oil, but the message was still clear: climate change or not, people will still rely on oil, and the company will gladly supply it to them.

William Colton, vice president of corporate strategic planning at ExxonMobil, assured shareholders that “all of ExxonMobil’s current hydrocarbon reserves will be needed, along with substantial future industry investments, to address global energy needs.”

The company’s report suggests that globalization and expanding economies will safeguard ExxonMobil’s livelihood. With even poorer nations becoming more industrialized, the need for energy will only heighten in the decades to come. As the world’s energy demands grow, so does the need for the fuel to generate that energy.

“ExxonMobil is saying it doesn’t believe governments will keep their internationally agreed commitments to limit climate change to safe levels,” said Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International.

Despite its bleak projection for the future, many activists are choosing to take ExxonMobil’s announcement as a step in the right direction. Having the company acknowledge that the world is concerned about climate change is in itself progressive for an energy company. Furthermore, the activists hope that the company’s clear declaration that it will continue to conduct business as usual without considering the global consequences will force governments to be more proactive in enacting legislation and policies to stop this destructive business.

A spokesperson for 350.org said, “Exxon put all their cards on the table. They said, ‘We think governments won’t meet the 80% reduction goal, and we’re just gonna burn all the oil and gas we want.’ One of the most interesting things to watch is how the Obama admin will react. Exxon just called them a bunch of liars. They said, ‘You’re never going to meet your 80% targets. You’re never going to stand up and regulate us.’”

In essence, ExxonMobil is betting – perhaps correctly – that the immediate needs of the people will take precedence. Politicians who are concerned more about what will happen within the next election cycle rather than the devastation coming 20 years later will prioritize quick ways to stimulate the economy and meet energy needs. As a result, climate change, a problem that absolutely should not be put off any longer, will continue to be put off anyway.

For the sake of life on earth, however, hopefully ExxonMobil’s gamble is incorrect. Hopefully, world leaders’ pledges to cut emissions are fulfilled. Hopefully, governments cut reliance on oil and get behind clean energy industries instead.

If that’s true, ExxonMobil’s unwillingness to search for alternatives may eventually kill the corporation… assuming that that corporation doesn’t manage to kill us all first.


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Warren Webber
Warren Webber1 years ago

Live long and prosper!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

Steven Gregory D. YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

Steven Gregory Davis

Unfortunately, ExxonMobil and Chevron are right, they needn't worry about a THING!!!! Too many lobbyists, too many corrupt politicians at all levels, too many very influential people sitting on the board of directors, etc. etc.!!! I very much hope to be proven wrong, but I SERIOUSLY doubt it!!!

Janis K.
Janis K.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Patricia Guilhem
Patricia Guilhem2 years ago

Malheur pour notre avenir.... Que feront ils de leur pétrole et de leur argent, quand nous aurons tous disparus et que la planète sera détruite ????

Beverly C.
Beverly C.2 years ago

Maddening article. -They think that international greed will allow them to do whatever they want in any way they choose because people worldwide care more about having their products available than we care about the environment. --And, unfortunately, this is true of many people, companies, and corporations.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams2 years ago

Invest $150 billion in smart electric grid, wind, solar, and enhanced geothermal systems, buy enough fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights to give them about 10% more sales than now, Invest rest in algal bio-fuels like Algae Systems does for US Navy and barter bio-fuels for fossil fuels until cost-competitive enough for oil firms to invest.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams2 years ago

We need taxes (regressive, but needed) on both emissions and energy, with revenue divided between buying fossil fuel as mineral rights from those firms that lose revenue due to the taxes and/or means to harness renewable energy bought with this revenue and buying those means to harness renewable energy to lease to electric utilities with lease payments use to buy more fossil fuel as mineral rights. US emissions were 5.2 billion metric tons CO2eq 2012, split 1.3 billion farms, 1.6billion coal fired electric generators, 2.3 billion other fossil fuel. Total US energy sales roughly $1.5 trillion/year. $300 billion/1.6 billion tons=almost $187/ton so $18.7/ton would be about 10% of sales of coal-fired electric. $900 billion/2.3 billion tons rest of fossil fuel energy, so $39/ton would be 10% of those sales. Rather than tank economy where coal-fired electric is major source of energy--need to take 2 years to phase in emission tax of $36/ton CO2eq. Then figure average pre-tax retail price of coal-fired electric and start with 10% of that as tax rate for electric and gas utility delivered energy (kWh = Therm) and equivalent tax rate on energy from other sources. Then increase another 10% energy tax each year up to 50% energy tax on top of $36/ton emissions tax. Allow 10% extra beyond just the prohibitive tariff effect of the taxes for buying fossil fuel as mineral rights, invest what is left in means to harness renewable energy to lease to electric utilities with lease payments

Alina Kanaski
Alina Kanaski2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.