Big Oil, Exxon Not Guilty as Charged (a rebuttal in six parts)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 22, 2022 1 Comment

“Imagine if the media was reversed on the climate/energy issue, supporting and promoting a free-market, classical-liberal position. They could look at my boxes of files from the Enron days (1990s) and produce an exposé, Enron Knew.”

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

The Palmisano/Bradley exchanges concerned regulating and pricing carbon dioxide. I was against; Palmisano for.

Continue Reading

“Big Oil vs The World”: BBC Exposé Fails (Episode III)

By -- September 21, 2022 3 Comments

“In its Ahab-like focus on harpooning ExxonMobil, the BBC missed an opportunity to explore the enormous challenges involved in replacing fossil fuels. The costs of ignoring those challenges may well be tragically put on display this winter when Europeans face freezing temperatures with nothing but BBC-approved power systems to keep them warm.”

In Episodes 1 and 2 of its three-part documentary, Big Oil vs The World, the BBC succeeded only in demonstrating its own bias. Time and again, viewers were presented with only one side of a many-sided issue. Episode 3 is no exception. This episode’s main narrative is that, for years, oil companies have touted natural gas as a clean alternative to coal, but poor execution has largely offset the benefits.

Per unit of energy generated, natural gas produces about half the carbon dioxide of coal.

Continue Reading

“Big Oil vs The World”: BBC Exposé Fails (Episode II)

By -- September 20, 2022 No Comments

Perhaps the most compelling testimony in Episode 2 of the BBC’s documentary Big Oil vs The World comes from Bill Heins, a geoscientist who worked with ExxonMobil from 2001 to 2019:

I’m disappointed, I’m angry, I’m disenchanted at the duplicity exhibited by ExxonMobil to say one thing internally and to say a different thing with a much different consequence in the political arena.

The implication is that the same people within ExxonMobil were saying one thing internally and another publicly. But the story Heins tells suggests that it was different people who were saying different things:

Shortly after I joined ExxonMobil, there was a presentation by Art Green, who was the chief geoscientist of ExxonMobil Exploration. All the scientific staff were there. Art got up and gave his presentation about how ice core records were unreliable and here were temperature excursions in the past when there couldn’t possibly be any human influence.

Continue Reading

“Big Oil vs The World”: BBC Exposé Fails (Episode I)

By -- September 19, 2022 2 Comments

Episode 1 of BBC’s Big Oil vs The World is a polished, emotional, lawyer-like brief for one side of a multi-sided, complex issue. But in the final analysis, the BBC case is long on agenda and feelings and short on facts, balance, and proper context. The documentary is slick propaganda that accuses oil companies of producing slick propaganda.

With its documentary Big Oil vs The World, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has added its voice to the chorus accusing the petroleum industry in general, and ExxonMobil in particular, of misleading the public and slowing the global response to climate change. The three-part documentary (Denial, Doubt, and Delay) was produced in cooperation with PBS, which ran its version on Frontline under the title The Power of Big Oil in April and May of this year.

Continue Reading

On the Theory of Interventionism

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 5, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading

“Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’” at the California Energy Commission

By Tom Tanton -- August 26, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

“Electricity Restructuring: The Texas Story” (revisiting a book gone sour)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 18, 2022 2 Comments Continue Reading

“Libertarian Seeks Burial of ‘Dead Hand’ DOE” (Natural Gas Week, February 6, 1995)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 14, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading

‘The $287 Million Pipeline No One Needed’: Deconstructing an Anti-Natural Gas Argument

By -- May 18, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

“Gasoline Prices: Still Good News” (a 20-year-old op-ed for today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 11, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading