ExxonMobil CEO Defends Manmade Global Warming, Says Humans are Able to Adapt
June 29, 2012 6:01 PM
Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO
He also addressed fears associated with drilling techniques and oil dependency
ExxonMobil's CEO defended oil and gas drilling by saying that
is something humans can adapt to.
Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO, said issues like climate change, energy dependence and oil/gas drilling are blown out of proportion. He blames a lazy press, illiterate public and fear-mongering advocacy groups for the bad light placed on the oil industry.
Climate change is a controversial topic that has been subjected to much debate. Tillerson said that fossil fuels may cause global warming, but argued that humans can easily adapt to the warmer climate. More specifically, he said that humans can adapt to rising sea levels and climate changes because he doubts the validity of climate modeling, which predicts the magnitude of impact associated with climate change.
"We have spent our entire existence adapting," said Tillerson. "We'll adapt. It's an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution."
Others, however, disagree with Tillerson's assessment. Andrew Weaver, chairman of climate modeling and analysis at Canada's University of Victoria, said that adapting to climate change would be much harder than just preventing it in the first place.
In addition, adapting to climate change could be much more expensive than preventing it. According to Steve Coll, author of "Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power," adapting to climate change would require moving entire cities. A better alternative would be legislation that slows the process of global warming.
An example of such a measure is the
proposed fuel standards for 2017-2025
, which will require automakers to create vehicles capable of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
The effort aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the country's dependency on foreign oil.
These standards will cost the auto industry $157.3 billion and
add an extra $2,000
to the sticker price of new autos, but it will save consumers $1.7 trillion at the gas pump.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will finalize the fuel efficiency standards
by the end of July 2012
Such measures could hit ExxonMobil's wallet with less gas used.
Tillerson also addressed the topic of consequences related to oil/gas drilling techniques, saying that drilling will always present possible risks like spills and accidents. But he mentioned that such risks are manageable and worth the end result, which is the energy provided.
Tillerson also said that drilling in shale formations doesn't pose life-threatening risks to those living nearby. However, drilling mixes millions of gallons of water with sand and chemicals that creates drilling wastewater. If this water is not treated, it can contaminate drinking water through cracked drilling pipes.
Tillerson also mentioned his problem with views on oil dependency. He said that there will always be access to oil, and that it doesn't matter where the U.S. gets oil because it is priced globally. Tillerson added that the U.S. only receiving oil from North America would still increase gas prices in the U.S. because it would cause a "disruption" in the Middle East.
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