The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.
-- George W. Bush, June 17, 2004
Liars like to hang out with other liars, which is why Bush and ExxonMobil are such good pals. And, just like Bush, since ExxonMobil can't stop lying, and lying, and lying, you can't believe anything they say.
ExxonMobil's latest farce is to try to polish their image and shore up credibility with environmentalists. Unbelievably, they think that changing their leadership from an unpleasant jackass to a slick, smiling, oily jackass will somehow convince people they've turned over a new leaf.
The New York Times reports:
If Rex W. Tillerson has his way, Exxon Mobil will no longer be the oil company that environmentalists love to hate.
Since taking over as Exxon's chairman three months ago from Lee R. Raymond, his abrasive predecessor who dismissed fears of global warming and branded environmental activists "extremists," Mr. Tillerson has gone out of his way to soften Exxon's public stance on climate change.
"We recognize that climate change is a serious issue," Mr. Tillerson said during a 50-minute interview last week, pointing to a recent company report that acknowledged the link between the consumption of fossil fuels and rising global temperatures. "We recognize that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors affecting climate change."
Wha...? Does this mean that Exxon astroturf groups will have to re-write all their anti-climate change position papers?
No, wait! Relax, folks! Nothing has changed (except the climate).
Continued below the fold...
But despite the shift in style to a less adversarial tone, the substance of Exxon's position has not changed with the new chairman. The company said the recent report only clarified its long-held position on global warming. Indeed, Mr. Tillerson noted that he, like Mr. Raymond before him, remained convinced that there was "still significant uncertainty around all of the factors that affect climate change."
Of course. Perpetuating the "climate change is a hoax" lie, (or "catapulting the propaganda", as Bush would say), is critical for Exxon to maintain that margin over other oil companies that are (supposedly) beginning to apply themselves to alternative energy technologies. The part I've highlighted in bold says it all, really (again, from the NYT):
In contrast to rivals at BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which plan to invest billions of dollars in the next decade to develop renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, Mr. Tillerson sees Exxon's future as still firmly tied to oil and natural gas.
The answer to today's high prices? "More supplies." President Bush's reference to America's "addiction to oil"? "An unfortunate choice of words." Exxon's role in society? "A good business, and what we do brings good things to people."
Yes, he's slick, and frustratingly stubborn, an attitude representative of the whole company, according to the Greenpeace and Exxpose Exxon representatives quoted in the article. In other words, when faced with reality:
[Exxon's] access to the world's top hydrocarbon deposits is more limited than ever. At Exxon, the problem is magnified by the company's size. Each year, its geologists must find huge amounts of oil and gas -- nearly 1.5 billion barrels -- just to replace the company's production of about 4 million barrels a day.
... Exxon just "digs [its] heels in", and sticks with its "what the hell, there's more out there" attitude, planning 22 new projects between now and 2009 (including drilling in Alaska's North Slope). Even if there is less and less easily accessible oil in the world, if you have enough money, you can certainly get to it, or at least Exxon thinks so.
Finally, speaking of money, the NYT article puzzles over one thing Tillerson brags about:
[Tillerson] defended Exxon's record of investing in research for alternative fuels, citing a 10-year, $100 million contribution to the Global Climate and Energy Project [CGEP] at Stanford, which focuses on long-term technological research. "We are going to continue to use fossil fuels," he said. "We are looking for the fundamental changes, but that's decades away. The question is, What are we going to do in the meantime?"
Well, that's nice, Mr. Tillerman, but some of us are onto you guys. Is that Exxon astroturf I smell? (GCEP's name is clever, but they are not doing climate science research. Sure sounds nice and "environmental", though.)
And we all know what "staying the course" gets us.
(Adapted from The Next Hurrah.)