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Exxon CEO: Feds, Industry Must Work Together in New World of Energy

Exxon CEO: Feds, Industry Must Work Together in New World of Energy thumbnail

It’s a new world taking shape in the energy industry, Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO, told a crowd during the second day of IHS CERAWeek in Houston.

And while the full picture of this new paradigm has yet to take shape, it’s clear that the industry needs to come together with the public and policy makers to pioneer these opportunities in a way that will erase the old lines between the conventional and the unconventional.

With this cooperation, the United States could be a net energy exporter by the end of the next decade, he said, despite the new pressures, low prices and anemic economic growth.

“The highly technical, innovative nature of energy offers the greatest hope for us to meet our shared aspirations,” Tillerson said.

Lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports was a sentiment expressed during the opening day of CERAWeek as both U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance opened the event with a discussion of repealing the outdated law.

Tillerson acknowledged progress has been made with some members of the current administration. The chiefs of both the Interior Department and the Energy Department have expressed that hydraulic fracturing can be managed safely on some federal and Native American lands.

Still, the industry struggles under the weight of onerous regulatory burdens, he said. Federal regulators would do well to recognize that the technology and techniques in use by the energy industry have been thoroughly vetted.

To meet regulatory scrutiny and public skepticism, “as an industry, we have to perform, manage risk appropriately and demonstrate our ability to operate responsibly,” he said.

But a change that would allow the industry to move forward with regulators and industry on the same side requires that issues are met with facts. There has been a lot of noise surrounding industry policy, and although it’s sincere concerns from sincere people, the government must respond to the science.

“Crude oil is a very resilient resource and energy is a very resilient industry,” he said. “I think people are going to be surprised.”

And it could happen. Tillerson had a wish list for the government regulators and he struck an optimistic, albeit cautious, tone for the industry’s future.

He urged federal regulators to promote free trade for natural gas and crude oil.

“Economic leaders from around the world agree it would bring increased jobs and energy progress,” he said, adding that to allow the export of LNG is especially critical to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially as Asian nations turn toward cleaner methods to produce power, such as burning natural gas instead of coal.

Critical infrastructure – including the embattled Keystone XL pipeline – remains a priority for both the United States and Canada.

“It would improve competitiveness and strengthen our relationships with important allies,” he said.

What’s more, the drawn-out regulatory process that has held Keystone at bay for years is an example of much-needed transparency and certainty in the U.S. regulatory process.

“The Keystone XL is the poster child for problems” with federal regulations and lacking transparency. As such, those problems stifle investment and innovation.

However, with an industry that it is so dependent on human ingenuity, and has achieved so much, Tillerson said that with sound policy, energy can continue to change the world for the better.

“Safely and securely, we can reflect the highest ideals of opportunity, growth and lifting millions out of poverty,” he said.


13 Comments on "Exxon CEO: Feds, Industry Must Work Together in New World of Energy"

  1. Northwest Resident on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 3:53 pm 

    Translated: Feds must strive even harder to do what the oil industry execs tell them needs to be done — or else…

    Beginning with:

    * Fewer and preferably no regulations
    * Military force applied more liberally
    * Open up all federal property to oil extraction, no ifs ands or buts
    * Keep those money printing machines humming
    * Stop belly aching over trivial things like oil spills, ecological destruction, water pollution, occasional train explosions — if you want your oil then you have to take the good with the bad

  2. Lawfish1964 on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 3:58 pm 

    What a load of crap! Regulate the frac’ers even less. We promise we won’t damage the environment. You can trust us. We’re big oil.

    What a shame they suffer under those “onerous regulatory burdens.” Like not injecting crude oil and gas into aquifers and fracturing bedrock to create more earthquakes. It’s so onerous not to completely destroy the earth. “[W]e can reflect the highest ideals of opportunity, growth and lifting millions out of poverty.” GMAFB!

  3. justeunperdant on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 4:32 pm 

    He is basically saying that the easy oil is depleted and everybody is too poor to afford oil. The only way for the oil industry to be profitable is to reduce cost further, by not treating oil industrial waste (too expensive), polluting is cheaper; hiring illegal immigrant that you treat like cattle with below minimum salary wage.

    Canada has such a program where immigrant are bring in and displace qualify workers so the oil industrial can lower its cost even further.

    The Government is reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) through a balanced set of reforms to ensure that employers put Canadian workers first.

    I agree with Northwest Resident on this

  4. Davy on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 5:07 pm 

    N/R, while I agree the oil majors are scoundrels we do need oil to maintain BAU. Not only do we need oil we need growing oil supplies. We are going to have to give this guys what they want or BAU will die. If we bash and trash them we will see oil supplies vanish. They are vanishing anyway but how quick do we want them to vanish.

    I personally feel a liquid fuel crisis will begin the rebalance process. It will be the start of population and consumption changes. Yet, are we ready to pull that trigger? Once we go down that road there is no returning. So do we make a pact with the devil or drive a stake in his heart and end BAU?

  5. Newfie on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 7:39 pm 

    Keep burning those “dinosaur bones”. Until they’re all gone. LOL.

  6. Perk Earl on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 7:44 pm 

    “Safely and securely, we can reflect the highest ideals of opportunity, growth and lifting millions out of poverty,” he said.

    Do what? Lift millions out of poverty or make fat cats fatter? Like NR pointed out, He’s saying relinquish regulation. Also, build the XL Pipeline and we’ll lift millions out of poverty.

    Do I laugh now or wait then start a real slow sarcastic clapping session?

    “We need help now that oil depletion/ diminishing returns is leaving less net energy and profit for our biggest fat cats to purchase the longest most decadent yachts. Please, line our deep pockets, I mean, sniff sniff crocodile tear, raise millions out of poverty. Sure, that’s what I wanted to say!”

  7. Bob Owens on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 8:13 pm 

    The poor oil industry is sooooo misunderstood! Gee, if only they weren’t so burdened with regs and set upon by environmentalists! Then the jobs would flow and flowers would grow everywhere. Their brilliance would shine like the beacon at Rocky Point light house, guiding ships safely past the shoals.

  8. Mike989 on Tue, 21st Apr 2015 8:42 pm 

    China is building 6 Gigawatt of Solar this quarter alone. Who knows how much next year, and Tillerson is harping about the XL Pipeline?!?

    This guy is a total idiot.
    He’s an embarrassment, the 1920’s want their CEO back.

    Carbon Solutions are Suicide.

  9. Apneaman on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 12:17 am 

    King Rex. Fossil Fuel dictator. After the climate SHTF, Rex may end up giving his last public appearance at the local Exxon gas station…..just like another former performing clown dictator.

  10. Northwest Resident on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 1:37 am 

    Davy — The choice between carrying on BAU and taking the bitter medicine of major collapse grows ever more stark. The price of continuing on, sucking or scraping every last drop of oil out of the ground, is unbearable. The price of taking the bitter medicine now rather than later looms like a choice between devastating treatment or painful death for a cancer patient. We arrived at the point of no good choices a while back, and all our leaders have done since then is stretch out BAU to the breaking point like a rubber band. The breaking point is near, probably nearer than any of us want to believe or are prepared for. The only thing to do for regular J6Ps like me and you is be as ready as we can be right now, and maybe hope for a little more time to complete preps, knowing full well that every additional day of BAU adds increasing burden on future generations. We are now officially AT the point of damned if we do and damned if we don’t. How they stretch this out to the end of 2015 without something snapping is beyond me, but maybe they can pull it off.

  11. Charlie Bucket on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 6:16 am 

    Isn’t what he just described the exact definition of Fascism? “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
    ― Benito Mussolini

  12. Kenz300 on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 7:31 am 

    Climate Change is real……. we can deal with the cause (fossil fuels) or we will deal with the impact.

    Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables


    Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches | World news | The Guardian


    Head Of The Episcopal Church Says It’s ‘Sinful’ To Ignore Climate Change

  13. Davy on Wed, 22nd Apr 2015 7:43 am 

    NR, I agree and we are as usual on the same page. I will sure miss google to try to determine what a J6P’s is. Yea, Joe the six pack prepper and doomer! I should have known that but google save me. It will suck when all that info access is gone. But that is the shit.

    When you are a prepper you can never get enough prep in. When you are an obsessive prepper it is even worse. I love prepping and I will passionately be doing it until I can’t. It is just my nature. Every day I try to figure out how much time we have. This is a search that is bumpy. Some days I think we have more time others I think “man not good”. The only thing to do is wait and see.

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