ExxonMobilWatch: Them’s Fighting Words

In the movie Stand By Me, Wil Wheaton and his prepubescent comrades have this charming conversation about imaginary fights. (I believe there’s an argument over who would win in a fight between Superman and Mighty Mouse—correct me if I’m wrong.)

Today, we have an imaginary fight for you: It’s between Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The other day, we blogged about Volcker’s recent statement that fighting global warming will not destroy the global economy (especially since if global warming is left unchecked, there could be no economy to destroy). But Tillerson, we learned from a New York Times piece, has some very different ideas:

…Mr. Tillerson expressed concern that policy makers could damage the world economy with precipitous environmental policies. He warned that future generations could be sorry for hasty policies taken today without more careful study.


“The scale advantages of oil and natural gas across a broad array of applications provide economic value unmatched by any alternative,” he said.

Were Rex and Paul to enter the ring, we predict that despite his champion-esque name, Rex’s ultimate downfall would be his shortsightedness—Paul’s clearer vision of the future would allow him to win handily.


Funny thing is that it is inevitable that huge energy companies like Exxon will end up making most of the money on alternative energy anyway.

They have the capital, engineers, and distribution those are tough barriers for little startups.

The first big companies to get this will make all the money. Maybe I don't go with Rex but I'll go with one of the other giant energy producers who are a little more forward thinking.