A free-market energy blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Principled Entrepreneurship ™

Energy Reality Wins at Exxon Mobil Annual Meeting (Atlas is not shrugging at this substance-over-form company)

If only the United States economy were as strong as ExxonMobil. If only energy realism and free-market consumer service were guiding lights in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and other seats of political power.

The good news from Exxon Mobil’s annual stockholders meeting in Dallas earlier this week is that the company is focused on its core competencies amid the energy politicization around it. No Enron political machinations here!

In fact, Exxon Mobil is the anti-Enron of corporate America, a rebuff to Ken Lay, who once worked at Exxon, and Jeff Skilling, who declared in 2000: “You will see the collapse and demise of the integrated energy companies around the world. They are going to break up into thousands and thousands of pieces.” (1)

Key Messages

The key messages of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson were: 

  1. Petroleum as a primary energy source is the future, not only the recent past. (Comment: renewable energies once had a 100% market share, corresponding to mankind’s energy poverty era.)
  2. Developing politically dependent renewable energies such as wind and solar are not the company’s forte. (Comment: Exxon Mobil is implicitly practicing Principled Entrepreneurship ™, a socially responsible business model.)
  3. If carbon dioxide is to be priced, a tax is preferable to cap-and-trade. (Comment: Tillerson has not come out in favor of pricing CO2 per se, to my knowledge, and most economists would pick the same of the two options.) 
  4. Win-win emission reduction technologies and strategies are better than politically correct/economically incorrect ones. (Comment: the jury is still out on this, of course, but it will be interesting to see how Exxon Mobil’s R&D bets turn out relative to those of the other energy majors.) [Read more →]

May 30, 2009   6 Comments

Special Note to Our Readers (a record number of you)

This has been the busiest period in the short life of MasterResource (we are less than five months old). Our viewership this week has exceeded ten thousand, and cross posts on mega-blogs across the political spectrum have introduced us to new audiences. MasterResource, an energy scholars’ blog (but one that is accessible to the general reader), is on the map!

Two issues have driven our recent traffic. One is the temperature analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate bill by environmental scientist Chip Knappenberger. His straightforward analysis (but don’t ask me to use the MAGICC model!) reflects Chip’s usual careful scholarship. I expect that it will not need to be substantially revised (no complaints so far at RealClimate). But if errors are found, Chip will be the first to thank the reviewer and make the changes.

I know Chip personally, and I have worked with him for more than a decade. In our camp, he has a reputation for telling it like it is in regard to climate science and climate observations to “skeptics” and “alarmists.” Knappenberger’s beginning post in a series questioning “ultra-skepticism,” for example, has attracted critical attention (and maybe even made him some enemies in such a contentious debate). Expect more interesting posts from Chip in his effort to identify the middle way between “skepticism” and “alarmism.”

The second issue driving our record views involved Joseph Romm of the mega-blog Climate Progress. [Read more →]

May 9, 2009   5 Comments

At World Economic Forum: "New Model" Sought

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the world’s elite, gathering in Davos this week, are amazed at how little they know about the economy. There is even talk about how capitalism itself is a failing business model. One participant, who is giving a business leadership seminar there, is quoted as saying:

The capitalist myth is lovely and youthful. It kicked off the industrial revolution, but maybe we need a new one.

Instead of looking for new government quick-fixes, business and government leaders need to discover (I wish I could say, rediscover) what is real capitalism–free-market capitalism–in theory and practice.

Today’s problems can be traced to the government side of the mixed economy, as well as a perverted capitalist ethic in the boardroom. [Read more →]

January 26, 2009   4 Comments