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CERA vs. WPC: Tomlinson (Houston Chronicle) Digs In

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 22, 2022

“Chris Tomlinson is financially conflicted, badly so, and over-the-top against Big Oil and the fossil-fuel industry writ large. Yet he has a happy home as the business editorialist at the Houston Chronicle. These are peculiar times of climate alarmism/forced energy transformation….”

What’s the latest from the oil and gas misanthrope Chris Tomlinson, business editorialist at the Houston Chronicle? The fellow that does not feel at the least conflicted swimming in taxpayer-enabled wind/solar monies inside his own abode (involving $2.0 billion and 2,000 MW)? [1]

Not much….

At CERAWeek 2022, Tomlinson was not listening to the (puppet) head of the U.S. Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, who stated:

We are on a war footing—an emergency—and we have to responsibly increase short-term [oil and gas] supply…. And that means you producing more right now, where and if you can.

Tomlinson was focused on Biden climate envoy John Kerry, who for the umpteenth time was warning that the end is near. Nine-years-left, “without exaggeration, about survival” Kerry, who most recently stated:

Will [my grandchildren] have clean air to breathe as they grow up? Will they be able to see a coral reef, walk through a rainforest, even venture outside safely on a summer evening?

(Meanwhile, climate-related deaths have fallen precipitously in the last century, thanks in part to fossil fuel reliance. Affordable, reliable, dense energy matters.)

Tomlinson wrote about CERAWeek 2022:

The leaders of the world’s largest oil and gas companies … are insisting on a transition that guarantees future profits that will likely overheat the planet.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik, CEO of Malaysian national oil company Petronas, argued clean energy cannot fill the gap in Asia, especially for low-income communities. “We are not the villains,” Taufik insisted. But Taufik is a villain….

… and so are the other executives who insist on burning hydrocarbons to maximize their corporation’s profitability while making the climate their secondary concern. We can’t expect corporations to act altruistically, but neither should we ignore their hypocrisy.

Then there are the unreconstructed oil and gas CEOs who insist the world cannot reduce dependence on fossil fuels. “Oil and gas will be needed for decades to come,” said John Hess, CEO of Hess Corp., a Houston oil and gas exploration company. “We need to invest more in oil and gas.”

Wait–who to believe? The Biden Administration’s call for more oil and gas with no expiration date–or Conflicted Chris?

Engine No. 1 founder Christopher James, climate alarmist/forced energy transformationist, and the skunk at ExxonMobil’s party, editorialized in Wall Street Journal that it is and should be a fossil-fuel world, quite unlike Tomlinson:

The first and most immediate step is to prioritize North American oil production over imports from less desirable suppliers…. Because of the indeterminate demand for fossil fuels in the coming decades and beyond, it makes economic sense to encourage quick-turnaround, high-return oil-and-gas projects while actively discouraging long-duration, capital-intensive projects with uncertain prospects.

Don’t buy James’s call for the Permian Basin folk agreeing to new climate regulation–or trading away long-term production for short-term emphasis. That’s bunk given his admission of “the indeterminate demand for fossil fuels in the coming decades and beyond.” Get ready to produce more now and in the future, as the developing world demands oil, gas, and coal, not Marie Antoinette’s cake.

Unreconstructed Tomlinson

The conflicted editorialist is the unreconstructed one–not those engaged in voluntary transactions offering and choosing the most affordable, reliable, and available energies.

It is Chris Tomlinson who is emotionally invested in climate alarmism and financially wed to wind and solar largesse. He does not debate climate science; he assumes the worst. And he magically believes that technology will somehow overcome energy density (the two most important words in the debate and a concept he does not understand or want to understand).

Back in January at the 23rd World Petroleum Congress (the “Olympics of oil”), Tomlinson was stark raving mad–and arrogantly so–at the oil industry:

  • “We don’t need unimaginative hacks looking for ways to keep pumping oil and gas with bolt-on technologies that benefit their business plans but not the planet.”
  • “They don’t want to discuss winding down their industry, even if that is the only sustainable and efficient future for the planet.”
  • “If Exxon isn’t looking for a new CEO, it should start now.”

WPC to CERA–little has changed for him despite the sea change for just about everyone else.


What is Tomlinson now saying in a very changed energy world? In one column, Tomlinson explained the colors of hydrogen–gray, blue, turquoise, pink, green. Crazy, esoteric stuff…. And in another, he shared his experience as a Chevy Bolt (EV) driver dealing with a battery recall.

Meanwhile, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, the climate crusade loses and the world’s biosphere does fine with increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the green greenhouse gas that plants love (if only they had a voice…).

We do not need to coat the landscape with industrial wind turbines, solar slabs, and battery packs. We don’t need United Nations/COP carbon fests. We don’t need carbon capture and storage (which Tomlinson correctly criticizes as iffy corporate pork). We don’t need open-ended Big Brother regulating our methane and carbon emissions.

Consumer sovereignty, taxpayer neutrality, and demotion of an intellectual/political elite to promote more realistic science and sound public policy are needed. The world deserves economic freedom, for short.


[1] Tomlinson’s wife boosts on LinkedIn:

Clean energy executive with track record of closing deals with $2B in transaction value. Strategic thinker with deal structuring, project management, team building, negotiation, and new market development experience.

An origination fee is $10 million for every one-half-of-one-percent. And typically this is in addition to salary and expenses. I invite the Houston Chronicle‘s conflict-of-interest chief to tell readers what the lucre is–and whether/why their business editorialist should be trusted over a more neutral, nonconflicted replacement. And if the paper itself has received any grants from anti-fossil-fuel environmental groups or individuals to pay the likes of Chris Tomlinson.

More background for the record on the conflict-of-interest.

Her history is wind, solar, and the like–no oil, gas, and coal: 13 years as VP-origination and Project Developer at RES Americas (2007–2020) and before that, Projects Director for CAMCO, wherein she “Developed clean energy project pipeline in East Africa for UK-based firm.” Before this, she was a project manager for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy, having a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

At Quinbrook, she is described as follows:

Director with over 20 years’ experience in renewable energyresponsible for offtake origination and customer relationships

  • … works closely with Quinbrook’s portfolio companies to identify and execute relationship based, origination and offtake agreements for Quinbrook projects
  • … has extensive experience in origination and project development in U.S. power markets and a track record of closing >2GW of renewable projects representing more than USD 2.5B in transaction value
  • Prior to Quinbrook, … spent 13 years with RES Americas beginning as a Project Developer and most recently leading RES’ U.S. origination efforts as Senior Vice President of Origination
  • … holds a Bachelor of Arts in Plan II Honours program from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University

Chris Tomlinson is financially conflicted, badly so, and over-the-top against Big Oil and the fossil-fuel industry writ large. Yet he has a happy home as the business editorialist at the Houston Chronicle. These are peculiar times of climate alarmism/forced energy transformation, with opinion molders such as Tomlinson riding high.

One Comment for “CERA vs. WPC: Tomlinson (Houston Chronicle) Digs In”

  1. John W. Garrett  

    We’ve already seen what happens when the attempt is made to power a modern economy using only wind and solar generated energy.

    It’s called Germany.

    Result: Germans have developed a sudden affinity for coal, natural gas and nuclear energy generation.


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