ExxonMobil chief notes mistrust of business

Economically stifling regulation comes from a mistrust of private business that needs attention from industry and public officials, says the chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corp.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 20
-- Economically stifling regulation comes from a mistrust of private business that needs attention from industry and public officials, says the chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corp.

At a meeting of the Houston World Affairs Council, Rex W. Tillerson spoke of the importance in the energy business of “investing for the long term” and in developing people and technology through “a sustained, disciplined, and consistent approach.”

Such an approach depends on consistent regulation.

“In the decades ahead, it will be more important than ever for governments to encourage free trade, uphold the rule of law, and build the stable legal and regulatory frameworks that allow for long-term investment and long-term corporate citizenship efforts to make a difference,” Tillerson said.

“Often the policy changes that are most damaging to entrepreneurs and innovation flow from a fundamental mistrust in the private sector. Leaders in the private and public sector both have a responsibility to challenge the basis and perceptions for this mistrust.”

Citing expectations that global energy demand will increase by one-third in the next 25 years, Tillerson said fossil fuels will dominate supply “for decades to come.” He predicted energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide will increase about 1%/year through 2030.

And he emphasized the link between energy and water, with production of each depending on supply of the other.

“Striking the right balance is crucial to addressing this environmental challenge and in providing people around the world access to both energy and water in sufficient amounts to enable economic growth,” he said.

Tillerson received the council’s Jesse H. Jones and Mary Gibbs Jones Award for International Citizen of the Year.

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