I’ll link first to Exxon’s own website, which indicates that not only is ExxonMobil a supporter of the theory that anthropological climate change is real, but that this organization has been leading the fight to combat its effects since the 1970’s and 1980’s. Thus, if you are Bobby Jindal (the erstwhile presidential candidate) or Ben Carson (the alleged front-runner for the Republican nomination), then you must first disagree with ExxonMobil’s own scientists before you are able to coherently argue that human-caused climate change is some mythological straw man.
How this tale of strange bedfellows came to pass is, itself, a little ironic. Exxon, as noted in the article from the Guardian, has been – shall we say – reticent about supporting the fact that climate change exists in the last few years. Eric Schneidermann, the attorney general for the conservative bastion state of New York, recently called them out on their position by requesting documents – including reports generated by climate expert Lenny Bernstein – which ostensibly show that Exxon was concerned about anthropogenic climate change some seven years before it became a public issue… Oops.
My argument against oil companies remains today as it has remained for some time… They are REMARKABLY bad at Public Relations! Had ExxonMobil decided, some 27 years ago, to get in front of this issue and explain how it would work on its own to prevent damage caused by its products, there would scarcely be any backlash from this story now. Additionally, these companies could have cornered the market on carbon capture technologies that would no-doubt be required on every piece of equipment that uses petrochemicals to operate… meaning a whole new revenue stream! Missing the boat on this topic may have, over the long run, have cost Exxon and its cronies tens of billions of dollars (not to mention all the manufacturing jobs that could be created by these new technologies!).
I do not have a fundamental problem with those who argue against greater regulation, only a practical one… when you have companies that are run as badly as the ones in the oil and gas industry, and for as long as they have been, then one needs an outside actor to make sure they comport themselves to the level of behavior I expect of my three year old. He isn’t much better at hiding his “bad” actions as these people are.