Big Oil, Exxon not guilty as charged (a six-part rebuttal)

Are from MasterSource

By Robert Bradley Jr. – September 22, 2022

“Imagine if the media were turned upside down on climate/energy issues, advocating and promoting the classical-liberal stance. They can look at my boxes of files from the Enron days (1990s) and come up with a demo, Enron knew. “

Back at Enron Corp., I had an “email war” with the company’s climate lobbyist, John Palmisano, author of the infamous book “This deal will be good for Enron stock“Kyoto Protocol Memorandum. Enron had at least one half a dozen profit centers have come forward to benefit from the CO2 restrictionsinspired the activism that led Jeremy Leggett [The Carbon War (Penguin: 1999), p. 204] to identify Enron as “the company most responsible for sparking a greenhouse civil war in the hydrocarbon business.”

The Palmisano/Bradley exchanges deal with the regulation and pricing of carbon dioxide. I was against; Palmisano for. I argued that it was bad and intellectually irrational public policy – a policy that would come back to haunt Enron. Palmisano argues that his job is to make money for the corporation, not to argue climate science and “good” public policy. John won, of course, but I was eliminated – with lots of cc and records. [1]

Imagine if the media were reversed on climate/energy issues, advocating and promoting a free market, classical-liberal stance. They can look at my boxes of files from the Enron days (the 1990s) and come up with a demo,”Enron knew. “

The point is that different individuals within the same company can have different views – and enthusiastically disseminate them. But bosses and upper management make decisions, often welcoming lively exchanges of ideas. Apparently it happened in Exxon, and it happened in Enron. And both lack a malicious plot with “suction guns”.


Enron knew waiting. But there is a cottage industry for Exxon Knew. Intellectuals, media and climate lobbyists have reviewed old Exxon (ExxonMobil) memos and interviewed former employees. Their verdict: company known that carbon dioxide will warm the planet and create big problems. They were warned by their own scientists.

Good, Enron knew and there was a warning from its director of public policy analysis (me, a 16-year mainstay). And my fear is exploding in real time with the worst still ahead.

This is just an argument made by many people against simplicity, favoritism Exxon Knew narrative (and campaign). Add historical context, examine the state of the debate today (from physical science to public policy), update the energy situation and present the rest of the story… and another picture emerges. presently.

Richard Fulmer delves into the matter with six counter-story essays presented by Inside Climate News, British Broadcasting Corporation, and scholars like Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University. [2] The articles (some associated with me) are:

More writing is needed on this subject to supplement the above and the rebuttals from Robert Papier (here) and ExxonMobil (here). One person hardly disagrees with the company’s statement:

ExxonKnew is a coordinated campaign carried out by groups working to defame ExxonMobil. Sponsors of the “#ExxonKnew” campaign have placed “pay-to-play” news stories, released erroneous academic reports, and coordinated with state officials to launch investigations investigations and lawsuits, creating the false impression that ExxonMobil misrepresented corporate research and investor disclosures about climate change to the public.


The problem with ExxonMobil is not what they said about climate change decades ago. That’s what they’re saying and doing about climate change nowa story consisting of losing money biofuel and a game of green cleaning/tax credits with carbon capture and storage. ExxonMobil touts CCS as potentially a $4 trillion market by 2050this could inspire a new generation of Exxon Knew investigation.

ExxonMobil’s endorsement of a tax on carbon dioxide (even with big caveats) makes me longing former CEO Lee Raymondpeople with realistic views on climate and energy can still defend long after he says them. [3] Value creator, straight talker. Not politically correct, but economically correct.

Messages for ExxonMobil. Gone are the days to pay attention to Alex Epstein and play offense, not justification. Explain why oil and gas are needed for a better environment and a better world. Explain energy density. Explain the problems with renewable energy. Let’s promote morality with a better intellectual case.

Trying appease the enemy is useless. Employees, investors, board members who consider oil and gas to be destructive should not be part of the company.

Consumers, taxpayers and free men/women of the world unite!


[1] For memos from my Enron experience in the public domain, see here. The exchange stopped when our boss, Steve Kean, now the head of Kinder Morgan, asked us to use phones instead.

[2] Naomi Oreskes is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History of Science at Harvard University. This title and location of study implies expertise and scholarship, not research that follows a one-way agenda. Does she understand economics, political economy, management theory, or business history? Does she have an open mind? Does she respect the academic method of the first female Harvard Business School professor in business school, business historian Henrietta LarsonWho speak:

What we did was… bring our business into the wider political and cultural environment…. We are not trying to protect business, but to attempt to conduct an objective, academic investigation of an important American institution.

[3] “We in the oil and gas industry do not dismiss global climate change. But I do not believe that anyone with moral authority denies people the opportunity to improve their way of life by arbitrarily depriving them of their means…. I hope that the governments of this region will work with us to combat policies that could stifle economic growth.”

– Lee Raymond (CEO, ExxonMobil). Quoted in Kevin Mooney, “BP’s fall from grace: The disgraced oil giant was once backed by green groups“Capital Research Centre, December 2010.

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