Exxon Mobil got a PR pasting in the MSM because it hired the ace White House aide on environmental quality, a guy who worked for the American Petroleum Institute for ten years, and who in his job as chief White House staffer on environmental quality had a hand in what the actual words were in administration statements. Okay, so Exxon gets poor marks for inartful political positioning for a few days. But what exactly – if you are the biggest shareholder oil company in the world – is the problem with hiring the senior top guy in industry and public policy on the subject of global warming if governments are all set to regulate this matter that has an effect on your business operations? Isn’t it the duty of the biggest and smartest to hire the best? Not in the MSM's DC, it seems.
The premier value to the MSM in the nation’s political capital is to “appear” to be acknowledging the beliefs of those who you oppose or who otherwise have political say over what you do. Values as they are displayed like in Europe, say, where Shell and BP have signed up – on a corporate policy basis – with the conventional Green wisdom on global climate change that “something” must be done about green house gas emissions. (China, India and Russia where the real problems exist, simply tell the rest of the world to fix it - they are busy with poverty). What everyone is supposed to actually do is all kind of vague. But you can be sure it will involve the US doing the most. And, such statements of political support from EU-based outfits come easily. For despite the fact they are in the same business as Exxon Mobil, have the same operating parameters and otherwise say the same things in technical meetings and at regulatory hearings, BP and Shell talk a different game because their politics at home require it. You see, BP no longer means British Petroleum. It means Beyond Petroleum. Get it? If you say you aren’t in the oil business and have green and yellow colors on your corporate logos, and talk a good game you get political credit in Media-ville. And you get called smart despite the fact that your operating habits are virtually identical - despite high profile but paltry spending on show-case topics - to all others in industry.
BP and the Dutch/British Shell can afford to do this, of course, because they know that Exxon Mobil will hold the flag for science and technology in the debates about ways forward. Meantime, these EU-based outfits can position themselves to look green and not lose too much face in industry because Exxon Mobil will understand their EU-based competitors have a political positioning problem at home and will not really call them on it in public because such finger pointing isn’t done. The only thing that really matters to Exxon Mobil is what you do, not what you say. If you mess up, fix it. But don't promise what you can't deliver.
Exxon Mobil, being based in the US and free to openly advocate what it's scientific and economic analyses say to be true, meantime gets lots of stories written about how clumsy and – you know – brazen they are. Imagine hiring an expert who actually has worked on this problem and is the most credentialed staffer in the country on this particular matter! How like a bunch of engineers and technical experts to not know how this would all look! Perhaps. But, quess what? I worked with these guys for years. Who do you think – within industry, inside government ministries around the world, in the capital markets, among customers, suppliers, vendors, investors – trusts who in the global petroleum industry to do what they say, to tell the truth and to honor their commitments? Right. Quillnews recommendation: buy XOM.