What did ExxonMobil Know and When Did They Know it? (Part Quatre: "Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?")

Guest post by David Middleton

In my previous posts regarding the lawless inquisition of ExxonMobil and its supposed climate cover-up, I’ve pretty well demonstrated that ExxonMobil (then Humble Oil, later Exxon) knew exactly what we know today: The AGW models always forecast about 4 times as much warming as actually would occur.  In any science other than government/academic climate “science,” this is known as a failed hypothesis.  ExxonMobil was fully aware of this failed hypothesis long before it failed.

Well, the latest spin coming from the commissariat of State attorneys general is that ExxonMobil has misled investors about what the government might do in the future.  Yes, I know, George Orwell couldn’t even have imagined this.  The most successful energy company in the history of “life, the Universe and everything” is being accused of misleading investors about things that our Federal government (AKA Mordor-on-the-Potomac) might do in the future:

Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?

By Charles Kennedy – Aug 22, 2016

[…]

 The investigation by a handful of attorneys general into ExxonMobil has much more to do with the oil major misleading investors than it does about covering up climate science.

[…]

As The New York Times recently noted, Schneiderman emphasizes that the probe is focused on securities fraud, which hinges on recent statements that Exxon has given to shareholders and securities regulators, not on the company’s alleged cover up of climate science decades ago.

Schneiderman’s argument is straightforward: forthcoming policies to address climate change will severely limit Exxon’s ability to produce all of the oil and gas in its possession. Nobody knows this better than Exxon, Schneiderman alleges, since the company has been at the forefront of climate research since at least the 1970s. If Exxon cannot produce all of its oil reserves because they become either legally off limits or so regulated and/or taxed that they are uneconomical to produce, then the company itself is actually worth a lot less than shareholders think. And if Exxon knows this, then they are committing securities fraud, Schneiderman says. “If, collectively, the fossil fuel companies are overstating their assets by trillions of dollars, that’s a big deal,” Schneiderman said, according to the NYT.

He is looking at an Exxon report from 2014 in which the company told shareholders that climate action from the U.S. government and the international community would not prevent Exxon from producing oil, even decades into the future.

Exxon dismisses the allegations, saying that if it ends up with so-called “stranded assets,” it will because it simply misjudged changing market conditions, which is not a crime. “If it turns out to be wrong, that’s not fraud, that’s wrong,” said Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, referring to its 2014 forecast. “That’s why we adjust our outlook every year, and that’s why we issue the annual forecast publicly, so people can know the basis of our forecasting.”

And of course, if the world fails to implement climate policies that might hold back oil production, Exxon might still be able to extract its reserves unencumbered, which means its original forecast was not wrong about the value of its assets.

OilPrice.com

 

Since when has it become the fiduciary responsibility to accurately predict the future actions of government?  While every responsible corporation has a fiduciary duty to analyze the effects of proposed and implemented government policies on their business and to communicate this to shareholders and corporations even have an obligation to try to influence how these policies are crafted and implemented through the employment of lobbyists… No corporation has a legal obligation to forecast government malfeasance.  And any “leave it in the ground” climate policy would be government malfeasance on a scale not seen since Nero was fiddling.  Furthermore, there are no impending regulations or legislation which would force ExxonMobil to abandon proved oil and gas reserves.  While some regulations, like the new offshore well control rules, will make it much more difficult and expensive to produce proved reserves and exploit resource potential, none of these would force ExxonMobil to “leave it in the ground.”

I have a hunch that this cabal of left-wing attorneys general and Warmunist activist groups might just find themselves on the receiving end of a RICO lawsuit.  Chevron has already paved the legal path for this.

References

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 1)

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux, “Same as it ever was.”)

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 3, Exxon: The Fork Not Taken

“Smoke & Fumes”… The dumbest attack on ExxonMobil evah’

“Smoke & Fumes,” Part Deux: Exxon Knew “The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.”

Featured Image

Advertisements

138 thoughts on “What did ExxonMobil Know and When Did They Know it? (Part Quatre: "Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?")

    • Many contracts have clauses in them that provide for recovery of losses caused by government changing the laws or “rules”. These people could find themselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit one day. The lawyer for the company I used to work for always said that countersuits were typical two to four times the initial suit.
      You’d think that AG’s would know that rule well. Perhaps they have been in politics too long to remember the “rules of thumb”.
      Alberta recently discovered this when Electrical companies cancelled their PPA’s after the government made coal plants uneconomic with their Carbon Tax. The Left Wing NDP is now suing the companies over the contracts that were made 16 years ago with the kind of clause I have seen for 40 years. And this is from a Premier who is a lawyer and should know better. Looks like politics, politics, politics. Appearances beat reality every time.
      In the end, it always ends up being the taxpayer that pays.

  1. In every prospectus I have ever seen there is always a statement that says something about not responsible for things not under their control..These are forecasts only…estimates..etc etc

  2. Will there be insistence that the forecasts of climate scientists are held to the same level of accountability? After all it is those forecasts that are driving the political actions.

    • …or, is it public policy which is driving those forecasts, since government is paying for them?
      “Enquiring minds want to know.”

    • Does your statement about holding the forecasts of climate scientists are held to the same level of accountability also apply to the skeptics?
      Actually, scientists are paid to risk being wrong. Science would not have advanced to where it is today if scientists weren’t free to propose new hypotheses.

    • Ian W
      That is completely reasonable.
      Climate experts whose job it is to inform the public have to be just as accountable as anyone else for professional malpractice. They claim to know and to understand and to predict accurately. Fine. Then they are accountable for funds misspent based on their advice.
      If they are incompetent, to be judged on the accuracy of their work, they are to the same extent, accountable. I have no problem with that. If they are so sure, they must put their reputations where their open mouths are.
      Flapping gums must do their sums.

  3. In the long-run, every ounce of oil that can be extracted is going to be extracted. There is too much energy contained in oil to leave it in the ground (no matter what the climate alarmists like to fantasize about).

    • We are living in the Oil Age.
      Humans had better leverage the incredible engineering feats that provide us access to fossil fuels, while we still have them in place. Access to fossil fuels gave humankind economies of scale in food production and distribution, and this freed up the human intellect to pursue knowledge including the creation and distribution of vaccines, and all modern technology.
      Once we dismantle these engineering feats, they will be exceedingly difficult to replicate.

      • Do you want to go back to using computers that have vacuum tubes.
        Clean energy will no more dismantle engineering feats up to now, than the microchip undid the engineering feats that led to ENIAC.

      • That is in progress right now. The BOEM/BSEE “idle iron” program is denuding the Gulf of Mexico of infrastructure, particularly in the Western Gulf. Even if new plays were discovered, the lack of infrastructure would make them difficult to exploit,
        The most insane thing is our government’s efforts to force the dismantling of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Federal regulatory malfeasance will soon force the Trans Alaska Pipeline System to prematurely shut in. Once it is shut in, the law stipulates that it be dismantled.

        Obama’s Trans-Alaska Oil Assault
        He’s slowly starving the current pipeline so it will have to shut down.

        Jan. 26, 2015 7:49 p.m. ET
        Washington’s energy debate has been focused on President Obama ’s endless opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, but maybe that was only a warm-up. His new fossil fuel shutdown target is Alaska.
        President Obama announced Sunday that he’ll use his executive authority to designate 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness, walling it off from resource development. This abrogates a 1980 deal in which Congress specifically set aside some of this acreage for future oil and gas exploration. It’s also a slap at the new Republican Congress, where Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been corralling bipartisan support for more Arctic drilling.
        […]
        The ANWR blockade also seems to be part of a larger strategy to starve the existing Trans-Alaska pipeline, the 800-mile system that carries oil south from state lands in Prudhoe Bay.
        […]
        The political prize here is the death of the Alaska oil pipeline, which in its heyday pushed some 2.2 million barrels of oil south a day, but has seen volume slow to 500,000 barrels a day as the state’s existing oil fields decline. The drop in oil prices has increased financial pressure on Arctic drillers, and any lower flow threatens the viability of the pipeline.
        This is what environmentalists want because they know that if the pipeline shuts down, it must by law be dismantled. Since the pipeline is the only way to get large quantities of Alaskan oil south, shutting it down means closing to exploration one of the world’s greatest repositories of hydrocarbons.
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-trans-alaska-oil-assault-1422319740

        Once TAPS shuts down, about 30 billion barrels of oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of natural gas will become permanently stranded under Alaska and its OCS.

        • The Trans Alaska Pipeline System’s (TAPS) minimum flow rate of about 300,000 barrels of oil per day will be reached in 2025, absent new developments or reserves growth beyond the forecasted technically remaining reserves. An Alaska gas pipeline and gas sales from the Point Thomson field and the associated oil and condensate would provide another boost to oil production and extend the life of TAPS for about one year to 2026. A shut down of TAPS would potentially strand about 1 billion barrels of oil reserves from the fields analyzed.
        Page ix
        • For the complete study interval from 2005 to 2050, the forecasts of economically recoverable oil and gas additions, including reserves growth in known fields, is 35 to 36 billion barrels of oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of gas. These optimistic estimates assume continued high oil and gas prices, stable fiscal policies, and all areas open for exploration and development. For this optimistic scenario, the productive life of the Alaska North Slope would be extended well beyond 2050 and could potentially result in the need to refurbish TAPS and add capacity to the gas pipeline.
        • The forecasts become increasingly pessimistic if the assumptions are not met as illustrated by the following scenarios.
        1. If the ANWR 1002 area is removed from consideration, the estimated economically recoverable oil is 29 to 30 billion barrels of oil and 135 trillion cubic feet of gas.
        2. Removal of ANWR 1002 and the Chukchi Sea OCS results in a further reduction to 19 to 20 billion barrels of oil and 85 trillion cubic feet of gas.
        3. Removal of ANWR 1002, Chukchi Sea OCS, and the Beaufort Sea OCS results in a reduction to 15 to 16 billion barrels of oil and 65 trillion cubic feet of gas.
        4. Scenario 3 and no gas pipeline reduces the estimate to 9 to 10 billion barrels of oil (any gas discovered will likely remain stranded).
        Some combination of these hypothetical scenarios is more likely to occur than the optimistic estimates.
        Page viii
        https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/10990727/alaska-north-slope-oil-and-gas-resources-national-energy-

        Unchecked, this malfeasance will cause 1, 2 and 3 to occur. Nearly half of the undiscovered resource potential in the USA lies beneath lands and waters affected by this perfidious action.
        http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/APImap1.png
        TAPS operating lifetime is entirely dependent on an economic flow of oil. It started flowing in 1977 and is expected to remain in operation until the mid-21st century if ANWR and the OCS are fully opened to drilling.
        If ANWR and the other areas are not opened soon, TAPS will reach its economic limit in about 10 years. If all of those areas are opened up, it will remain in operation until at least 2050.
        Below about 300,000 bopd, the pipeline will not flow in winter (without massive modifications) due to hydrates and parafins.

      • Jim Yushchyshyn August 23, 2016 at 10:18 am Edit
        Do you want to go back to using computers that have vacuum tubes.
        Clean energy will no more dismantle engineering feats up to now, than the microchip undid the engineering feats that led to ENIAC.

        Imagine if the government had mandated and subsidized the manufacturing of a home version of the UNIVAC I in 1957 because some prescient bureaucrats foresaw a future market for home computers. The misallocation of capital would have been horrendous.
        With energy, it’s even worse. Electricity is a cost. When bureaucrats mandate that “x” percentage of electricity be generated by so-called renewable sources, they are mandating higher energy costs – they are destroying wealth. When government subsidizes the build out of utility scale solar power plants, they are subsidizing more expensive and less available electricity – they are destroying wealth.
        When the free market is allowed to work, people like Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs create wealth.
        The problem isn’t teething problems with a new technology. The problem is a mentally greent@rded government crowbarring the economic equivalent of a 1957 home version of the UNIVAC I into an economy with no real market for a prohibitively expensive home version of the UNIVAC I.
        Some day in the future coal, gasoline, natural gas, nuclear fission and just about every other power generation source will be replaced by something that delivers more value to the economy… Real value… Measured in $$$. Not phony value like “social cost of carbon,” EROEI or fill-in-the-blank averted. That day is not here yet.
        Man did not leave the Stone Age because of a stone shortage. Man did not advance from the Chalcolithic to the Bronze Age because brilliant government bureaucrats forced coppersmiths to purchase bronze credits.

      • David: If I remember correctly, France decided made a decision back when the internet was still young, that they would get a jump on other countries by mandating that the whole country be wired with what was at the time, a state of the art network. (It was also being built by a French company, but surely that was just a coincidence.)
        The problem was that before the network could be finished, state of the art moved on, and now France was locked into an out of date network that didn’t integrate well with what the rest of the world was adopting.

      • Which strongly argues against the notion of government having the ability to mandate any form of technology. Including the field of energy generation.

      • Jim Yushchyshyn
        August 23, 2016 at 10:18 am
        Do you want to go back to using computers that have vacuum tubes.
        That would up the energy requirement.

      • Only if oil gets 10x more expensive than it is now. And you better hope that doesn’t happen in your lifetime since most “renewables” have a zero or negative energy return on investment (EROI). And neither technology nor economies of scale will change that.

      • By “renewable”, I take it you mean reprocessing and recycling spent Uranium nuclear fuel. The current combination of reactor design and once-through fuel cycle harvests less than 5% of the available energy. As you observe, that is terribly wasteful and not at all environmentally sound. Uranium to Plutonium reactors which pave the way to Thorium reactors is surely the way to go. This gives us energy for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years.
        That is what you mean by “renewable”, I take it?

      • So freaking what?
        When that happens people will switch to renewable energy on their own.
        Regardless, that day is still hundreds of years off.

      • “Eventually, oil will be too expensive to compete with renewable energy.”
        You really haven’t the first clue what you’re wittering about do you, little bedwetter?

  4. “Schneiderman’s argument is straightforward: forthcoming policies to address climate change will severely limit Exxon’s ability to produce all of the oil and gas in its possession.”
    It’s entirely possible that the largest energy company in the world has better understanding of the underlaying political dynamics of their industry than Mr. Schneiderman; and knows what the limits of those “forthcoming policies” might be.

    • ExxonMobil is at least smart enough to know that they can’t know what future governments might do.
      This follows the standard AGW argument. It is assumed that they are right; if you don’t agree with them, you are lying… It’s beyond Orwellian.

    • I don’t see “forthcoming policies to address climate change” which preclude a privately held corporation’s ability to produce all its oil and gas. I can visualize some circumstances which preclude Venezuela from producing its heavy oil resources, but that’s more related to Venezuela becoming a narco state-Castro colony-communist dictatorship which will lie in ruins.

      • Can’t happen here?
        Vigilance on the part of the populace is required. So far, that is not looking too good.

  5. This latest conspiracy theory is so stupid that it beggars belief how anyone could propose it and how anyone would believe it.
    If a few guys at Exxon were able to validate the supposed Climate Change crisis decades before all of academia and world governments could (and how future politicians and NGOs would react), using only slide rules and chalk boards, they deserve Nobel Prizes.
    Hell, they deserve statues and temples. These aren’t human beings being described but Greek Gods!

  6. I’m retired from the oil industry. The information turned in to the SEC is massive, and available to all investors. The SEC requires the industry to provide a “standard measure of oil and gas”, the so called SMOG, in which we put a value to each individual property, using SEC guidelines. The sum of the property values is the company’s total “SMOG”.
    If the SEC wishes it can change its guidelines to order companies to assume governments around the world will go crazy and kill the oil industry. In that case all oil companies will prepare new SMOG documents which follow the new SEC guidelines. Investors can then decide how much they should pay for company shares.

    • So I’m not the only one who saw that issue. The reporting methods are standardized. If Exxon had done what the speaker of the article said, they would have been in direct violation of the SEC’s reporting requirements.

      • Indeed. And

        The investigation by a handful of attorneys general into ExxonMobil has much more to do with the oil major misleading investors

        is a blatant lie. Attorneys general could not care less if investors loose money with ExxonMobil. In fact, attorneys general in question would love to see the invested money to disappear with ExxonMobil.
        What they most wanted is that investor money would disappear AND they could prosecute ExxonMobil managers for that AND the result would be even more investor money disappearing along with ExxonMobil for good.
        “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Right.

  7. Why is this Exxon stuff coming 25 years too late? The die was cast a long time ago and these clowns are only now getting off their asses and suing Exxon? I say we sue the AGs for not doing their jobs. If they had done so, our carbon footprints would be much smaller, I would only have one carbon munching child instead of two and we would be living an idyllic life on a small farm growing just enough food to keep the family and old bessie the cow alive.

    • I saw a news story recently about how the green movement is seriously planning for everyone in London to grow their own food.
      It would have been funny but for the various great leaps “forward” their fellow communists implemented in the past which killed hundreds of millions. Why won’t people learn?

      • Been there, done that. I do believe the “grow your own food” was Pol Pot’s plan for Cambodia’s cities. We all know how that worked out.

      • I saw a news story recently about how the green movement is seriously planning for everyone in London to grow their own food.

        That, my friend, is called the stone age. In every developed society people do what they are good at. Growing food is inefficient if everyone grows their own food. Seriously inefficient in all imaginable ways, including, but not limited to the “carbon” consumption of product per unit.

  8. Mr. Schneiderman needs to study the impact of tobacco regulations on the returns to investors who owned equity in tobacco companies. Tobacco stocks have provided the highest returns among all sectors over the last 100 years. Indeed, tobacco companies continue to outperform the S&P 500 even though cigarette sales are falling.

    • Tobacco did start out as a “cash crop”… In that sense, it has performed extremely well for a couple of centuries… 😉

      • Interesting point, David. Leads me to suspect that Gore knew more about tobacco and lung cancer than he admits – when he was head of Daddy’s company. When will an AG get round to asking him?

      • Al Gore: Tobacco Hypocrite
        Al Gore has conveniently forgotten that his family used to be in the tobacco industry.
        […]

        Six years after Vice President Al Gore’s older sister died of lung cancer in 1984, he was still accepting campaign contributions from tobacco interests. Four years after she died, while campaigning for President in North Carolina, he boasted of his experiences in the tobacco fields and curing barns of his native Tennessee. And it took several years after Nancy Gore Hunger’s death for Mr. Gore and his parents to stop growing tobacco on their own farms in Carthage, Tenn.

        So it seems that the Al Gore and his family were quite content to profit from tobacco users for more than 20 years after the January 1964 publication of the first Surgeon General report on smoking and health.
        https://junkscience.com/2011/09/al-gore-tobacco-hypocrite/

  9. Schneiderman assumes that potential investors in Exxon are as clueless as he is. It’s a market. What makes him think that these poor exploited share buyers haven’t already baked all this government uncertainty into the share price? Ain’t that how markets work? – at least for now.

  10. Will he also argue in favor of prosecuting solar and wind energy companies, because the government might run out of money and decide to stop giving them subsidies?
    Didn’t think so.

  11. at the forefront of climate research since at least the 1970s
    The forefront of climate research in the 1970s was Rasool and Schneider 1971 that predicted a cooling effect of fossil fuel combustion. It became a warming effect only after Hansen 1981 particularly so after the Hansen testimony to congress in 1988 and its sensational and breathless version in the NYT.

    • ExxonMobil’s climate research in the 1970’s through today basically consisted of summarizing published literature and trying to determine if and how any public policy decisions might affect their business. They pretty well always concluded that the science was uncertain and that public policy decisions would likely be manageable.
      It really cracks me up when these dingbats claim that Exxon “has been at the forefront of climate research since at least the 1970s.”

  12. So Schniederman is claiming that since the government MIGHT do something stupid and reckless in the future, then Exxon is guilty of securities fraud for not warning stockholders. Right. All recent company reports mention the systemic risk from regulations. Note what has happened due to the government making it much harder to drill on government land or offshore: the amount of oil found on private land went up so fast the world price crashed. The government did indeed do something stupid and reckless and it had no effect. Note also that Exxon drills for oil all over the world. It would be tough for the US government to shut them down.

    • It’s as if he thinks that ExxonMobil has a legal obligation to protect investors from potential future regulatory malfeasance… Which almost makes sense because ExxonMobil and its investors are actually on the same side.

      • Note also that if a company protests about possible regulations too much, they get punished by the government. That is why companies often work through separate trade associations to lobby and sue the government and why they almost never make bold public statements about say securities laws or climate change or labor law (unless it is a PC virtue-signalling statement).

      • Oddly enough… One of their accusations is that ExxonMobil was somehow breaking the law by trying to influence the promulgation and implementation of new regulations through lobbying efforts.

  13. Unfortunately, Exxon continues to play in the AGW ball park by running advertisements during the Olympics all about carbon capture, and how they are leaders in this ‘important’ action. We should ALL stop paying lip service to this nonsense. It only validates actions such as Exxon Knew.

  14. Statement by Suzanne McCarron, ExxonMobil Vice President of Public and Government Affairs
    The allegations leveled against ExxonMobil again today are politically motivated and based on discredited reporting funded by activist organizations. We are actively assessing all legal options.
    The allegations are based on the false premise that ExxonMobil reached definitive conclusions about anthropogenic climate change before the world’s experts and before the science itself had matured, and then withheld it from the broader scientific community. Such a claim is preposterous.
    ______________________________________
    “The allegations leveled against ExxonMobil again today are politically motivated and based on discredited reporting funded by activist organizations. We are actively assessing all legal options.”
    ______________________________________
    What’s more to say.

      • Isn’t the U.S. the only country that has RICO laws? It’s much easier to get away with threatening companies in other countries.
        Keeping this affair going only causes more damage to the U.S. Democratic party.

      • At this point it’s an open question as to which collapses first.
        The Democrat party, or the rule of law.

      • Since the Democrat Party is intent on collapsing the rule of law and the Republican Party is too inept to stop them… My bet would be on the rule of law collapsing first. If Her Hagness gets to nominate the next 1-4 SCOTUS justices, the collapse is just around the corner,

    • Exxon took a hard line on this affair and other oil companies caved in to activist organizations. So launch an investigation to bring them in line.
      All this bluster to avoid appearing before a Congressional committee.
      If this is allowed to stand, then who’s next?

  15. Maybe Julian Assange of Wikileaks has a record of internal Democratic Party correspondences wherein there was coordination of targeting and timing by states attorneys in their attack on Exxon and skeptics in general.
    If it is the case that State attorneys and their underlings were guided by anti-skeptic or Green policy advancement then they all should be placed in handcuffs and jointly prosecuted under various anti-racketeering laws.
    There is a paper trail. These leftists have done this. The email dump of the HAD CRU (Climategate) is an example of the extent to which the leftists will gerrymander the background activity, abuse positions of authority, to attack their political enemies.
    They did it then they are doing it now.

    • No need. The proverbial red letter was posted here just a few weeks ago. It was from the NY attorney general to his colleagues, explitictly saying that this prosecution was to support “clean power”. He said in his own words on his own letterhead in no uncertain terms that it was a politically motivated prosecution. I wouldn’t have believed it’s authenticity if it hadn’t been handed directly from them under court order.
      In any world where law was respected, that letter alone would be enough for him to lose his position and his bar certification.

  16. any “leave it in the ground” climate policy would be government malfeasance on a scale not seen since Nero was fiddling.
    Er, not seen since Merkels government reneged on deals made with nuclear operators and forced closure of half the fleet of German nukes.
    Or the UK government’s treatment of Drax, which after a pointless and costly conversion to run most of a coal power station on imported US wood chips, didn’t get the subsidy it was promised.
    NO one wants to invest in power stations any more. The government keeps changing the goalposts.

    • Moving goalposts are far more destructive than moving them back to the back of the end zone and raising them 100’… As long as the regulations are stable, industry can adapt. Dynamic regulatory environments are far worse than strict, stable reg’s.

  17. We used to say “heads I win, tails you lose”, but we were nine years old at the time.
    In this case, the government sues an oil company.
    If the government wins, its proof that the oil company is Satan.
    If the oil company wins, it proves that the oil company is Satan.

  18. Schneiderman’s theory has apparently morphed completely from ‘merchants of doubt’ to ‘future stranded assets’. Means there never was damning secret ‘climate research’. But we inferred that long ago from Exxons participation in many papers plus the IPCC process. UCS out of context nonsense exposed as such.
    His new notion is absurd on its face, as many commenters have pointed out above. Under current climate policies, o&g assets are not stranded. To claim they will become so wouls itself be a per se violation of New York’s Martin Act. In addition to following SEC SMOG rules, EXXON has for several years before 2014 included a potential CAGW policy impact warning in its standard risk factors 10k section. Scheiderman has got nothing.

    • “Scheiderman has got nothing.”. Except a re-election campaign perhaps?

    • Predicting the future actions of government is only possible if those actions are reasonably and rationally in the interests of it’s citizens, OR, if those actions are entirely for the political benefit of individual politicians who are composed entirely of ambition and utterly devoid of any sense of responsibility. The U.S. political system throws up a lot of these (Schneiderman).

  19. Mother Nature gets the final vote. When she leaves many hundreds of millions of developed world folks shivering in their winter homes because Green renewable energy falls woefully short (as it is guaranteed to do), then those barrels of oil will be very valuable as Green national socialists get tossed to rubbish bin. Exxon understands that.
    Unless aggressive nuclear power options are fielded soon (as it takes 20+ yrs to bring one unit online in the West), it is a foregone conclusion that every last teaspoon of recoverable oil, tar sands, and lump of coal will be extracted and burned.
    The Greens are trying to repeal Laws of Economics with subsidies. Just like all things socialist, that works until they run out of OPM. Unreliable Renewables will drive the cost of energy so high, no level of affordable taxpayer subsidy will keep the masses from taking their pitchforks to the Greens (or guns in the US if the Socialists can’t repeal the 2nd Amendment).

  20. Schneiderman: “Nobody knows [forthcoming policies to address climate change will severely limit Exxon’s ability to produce all of the oil and gas] better than Exxon, Schneiderman alleges, since the company has been at the forefront of climate research since at least the 1970s.
    Schneiderman hasn’t changed his position at all. His claim that Exxon must know forthcoming policy is based on Exxon being at the forefront of climate research.
    That is, Schneiderman is asserting Exxon knows that forthcoming policy will be draconian because Exxon knows (from its climate research) that CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic warming.
    It’s an utter BS argument. Schneiderman supposes that 1970s era climate models could accurately predict the effects of a 0.035 W/m^2 annual perturbation in forcing. Climate models can’t do that today, in 2016.
    Schneiderman may have grounds for a professional negligence and defamation suit against his science advisers. They’re giving him such bad information that he looks the fool in public. His professional reputation will take a huge hit.

    • “illegal human experiments”
      Planned Parenthood et al? A-bortion, harvesting, trafficking. No, that’s “legal”.

  21. So, “AGW models always forecast about 4 times as much warming as actually would occur.”
    First, always is a pretty big generalization.
    Second, doesn’t the Sun effect climate? If it does, it would have been a net cooling effect over the last several decades.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1972/scale:200/plot/gistemp/from:1972/scale:200/trend/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1972/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1972/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1972/offset:-320
    “In any science other than government/academic climate “science,” this is known as a failed hypothesis.”
    The hypothesis is that adding carbon dioxide causes warming. As you can tell from my link, Earth is warming, in spite of the Sun.

    • “Always” is a broad generalization. I should have said 95% of the models predict 2-4 times as much warming as actually occurs.
      A hypothesis is a formal proposition to be tested.
      This is a hypothesis:

      “A doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 to 560 ppmv will warm the lower atmosphere by X °C.”

      This is arm waving:

      “Adding carbon dioxide causes warming.”

      The models are the hypotheses. The subsequent observations are the experiments which test the hypotheses. As a formal hypothesis, AGW fails 95% of the time.
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-90-models-global-Tsfc-vs-obs-thru-2013-1024×921.png
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/

    • Jim,
      You are being obtuse, at best. The hypothesis is that specific increases in CO2 will cause specific, and rather large, increases in surface temperature. A related hypothesis states that this temperature increase will have catastrophic results for our civilization, no, for the entire planet. Hence CAGW. So far the evidence shows that both are quite doubtful. We can’t rule out natural variation for the current warming trend, and the unvalidated computer models (written by non software professionals, in other words amateurs) must be completely disregarded, just as you would an uncalibrated piece of lab equipment. CO2 is plant food and universally beneficial to the entire planet. And finally, a warmer planet is more hospitable to life than a colder one (within the possible range for THIS planet).

    • Earth is warming, in spite of the Sun.

      Jim, you miss a point. A very important point. If you are talking about greenhouse warming, that happens in the atmosphere. Surface warming is then a secondary effect. So if you want to claim greenhouse warming, due to greenhouse gasses, you need to show that the atmosphere is warming faster than the surface. So far, that just has not happened.
      This is the now infamous mid-troposphere hot spot which nobody wants to talk about anymore.
      Whatever warming you are seeing in GISS-LOTI, it is not greenhouse warming. I actually do not know what GISS-LOTI actually measures. As the Professor said, “Make sure that what you are measuring is what you think you are measuring”.
      Many of us think that GISS-LOTI measures nothing more that it’s own corrections and adjustments.

      • Sounds like he’s trying to claim that the recent El Nino induced temperature spike is actually due to CO2.

    • Seriously low-end mis-information from Jimbo the clown..
      Forgets to show that the slight drop-off is at the end of a protracted period of strong solar activity.
      A FAILED attempt at low-level propaganda, Jimbo. !!

    • “The hypothesis is that adding carbon dioxide causes warming. As you can tell from my link, Earth is warming, in spite of the Sun …”.
      =================================================
      You forgot variations in the tropical cloud “… an important control on the global surface air temperature, along with oceanographic phenomena (upwelling, etc.) within the tropical regions” (Prof Humlum Climate4you):
      http://www.climate4you.com/images/HadCRUT3%20and%20TropicalCloudCoverISCCP.gif
      IMO it would take a century or more of unmolested satellite observations to get any idea of the climate system workings (if ever).

    • The hypothesis is that adding carbon dioxide causes warming. As you can tell from my link, Earth is warming, in spite of the Sun.

      That is a pretty simple minded view. It isn’t what the sun puts out, it is what reaches the surface of the earth that counts, much like drawing the shade will cool a room on a very sunny day. The oceans are warming. CO2 and IR between 13 and 18µ won’t warm the oceans, visible light does. That is evidence that more radiation is reaching the earth. If the cosmic ray theory is true, more cosmic rays may seed clouds, so a hotter sun may actually cool the globe by increasing its albedo through a reflective cloud cover. Also, look at the atmospheric temperatures, they follow ENSOs, not CO2. CO2 doesn’t cause ENSOs, nor does if warm the oceans which is necessary for ENSOs.

    • Your link uses GISS, mal-adjusted, homogenised, from sparse, irregular urban affected data,
      … then fabricated to create a trend.
      GISS and its stablemates should be sent to the knackery.
      Try again.

  22. So, the prophecy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming was conceived as a strategy to devalue oil companies, entangle them in a judicial web, and enable their competitors. Then there are the carbon sequestration schemes (e.g. population control). The competition is brutal.

  23. Perhaps the legal proceedings should be moved to Salem, Massachusetts where the leaders of the day would initiate trial by fire…… If the “witches” burned to death, then it was the will of God….. If they survived….. it was the will of God….. God help us all!

  24. These Leftwing AG’s have nothing concrete they can blame on Exxon Mobile. They are misusing their offices for partisan political purposes. They will eventually have to give it up, if reason and the law prevails.

  25. The chart below, thanks to David Middleton, shows oil prices from 1946, to the present.
    Note that the highest spikes in oil prices also correspond to the beginnings of two deep economic recessions. The last estimate I saw was that for every 80 cent drop in the gasolone prices, the U.S. economy grows by one percent, and an increase of the same magnitude decreases U.S. GDP by one percent. Gasoline and oil prices are the control knob of our economy.
    http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/images/charts/Oil/Inflation_Adj_Oil_Prices_Chart_650.jpg

    • Prices are never the ‘control knob’ for anything. Price merely reflects the relationship between supply and demand – it is a DEPENDENT variable. The independent variables are Supply and Demand. More demand at the same time as less supply equals higher prices. If, just before the beginning of the 2 latest recession/depressions, oil (ie energy) prices spiked it was because the markets perceived more demand and/or less supply. If energy use dropped sharply as the recession took hold the price should, and did, decline sharply also. The price didn’t change the supply, the demand did.

    • Note that the highest spikes in oil prices also correspond to the beginnings of two deep economic recessions. The last estimate I saw was that for every 80 cent drop in the gasolone prices, the U.S. economy grows by one percent,

      That was until Obama destroyed that relationship, forcing the economic books to be rewritten. 8 years of relative peace, falling oil prices and 0% interest rates and all we got was the weakest post War recovery in history and his greatest supporters the blacks are rioting is the streets. I would never have thought someone could have done so little being given so much. Truly a completely failed administration and a wasted 8 years.

  26. “Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?”
    It doesn’t work that way.
    ExxonMobil is a publicly traded company with thousands of investors, and the stock is worth exactly what people will pay for it.
    The company doesn’t set the price, the market sets the price.

    • XOM’s market cap is determined by investors. However, it’s underlying value is heavily influenced by its booked proved and probable reserves. These reserves are booked according to SEC rules and indepenedently audited. Unless ExxonMobil is aware of future changes in the SEC rules, changes the SEC is unaware of, the Lysenkoist AG’s don’t have a case.

    • A company is “worth” what it’s parts can be sold at on the open market.
      In general, a company’s stock will reflect this value with an additional factor for expected dividend payments.

  27. There is another element to this – companies are not tied solely to the US and no matter what the US decides to do about fossil fuels, developing countries have no onus to stop using them. Exxon just changes its customers. Problem solved. By that point Exxon will have had the opportunity to warn investors that the situation will change and who knows, its shares might be more valuable because the developing countries might then be the rich ones.

    • TinyCO2:
      Unless Hillary puts in a droconian “EXIT TAX” that prevents US companies from moving offshore. Then what? Many Reverse Takeovers in the offing.

  28. Counter suits and a robust PR campaign are the correct answers to this assault on liberty. Although the victim in this case is a large corporation ultimately individuals will suffer. Political prosecutions abuse the most basic tenants of our laws.
    We should not take them lightly.

  29. This type of risk comes under the category of Political Risk aka Banana Republic Risk. It tries to quantify the risk of doing business when the government can suddenly change the rules. (The US used to be considered a good place to do business, because it was relatively immune to such changes).

  30. @Jim Yushchyshyn August 23, 2016 at 10:14 am
    “Eventually, oil will be too expensive to compete with renewable energy.”
    Jimbo, I am losing count of the the number of clueless and foolish individuals like yourself at this website whom I have to keep educating whenever one of you makes the statement like the one above.
    Why do I say that? Because, so far as I know, renewables are primarily used for electricity generation in the U.S., and we DO NOT use crude oil in this country to generate electricity (except for a paltry 1% of it). Don’t belieive me? Check the federal govt’s Energy Information Agency website yourself:
    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3/
    Crude oil is used for refining into surface and air transportation fuels, petrochemicals, and artificial materials like plastics (just to name just one of many). So, if you will, explain to me how crude oil supposedly competes with renewables to begin with.
    For this reason, the war by the Green movement and the political Left on crude oil and the the oil companys is an idiotic and ignorant one to put it bluntly. Technological advances and/or breakthroughs will be the only thing that will replace crude oil someday, and I’m NOT talking about today’s so-called “renewables” when I say that. If and when that day comes, my guess is that it will be the private sector and not govt that comes up with the eventual replacement for crude.

  31. Schneiderman et.al would love to have their case be accepted by the courts requiring discovery. That allows them to a) entangle Exxon into a mega litigation lasting years and years b) require Exxon to hand over years and years of internal management presentations where the subject was discussed and debated. Think of the number of closed door boardroom with powerpoint presentations and discussions and researcher notebooks that would involve. The chose Exxon as a target because they know Exxon has studied climate change very deeply. Brave new world we live in.

  32. It seems the most reasonable explanation for this endeavor is simple stock market manipulation since there’s no evidence ExxonMobile has or had any more information on the subject than the rest of the world. It’s already been pointed out assets are valued using a standardized method overseen by the SEC.
    As a former (and likely future) XOM stock holder it will be interesting to see if a class action suit and investigation by the SEC is in the near future. Market manipulation is a crime.

    • If there is any fraud, it is on the side of the IPCC and the climate alarmists. Their models prove they are promoting a failed hypothesis. If CO2 is truly a threat, it is up to the Gov’t to regulate it. If anyone is to blame it is the Government for not acting. If they truly know CO2 is a threat, it is there responsibility to act. It isn’t Exxon’s responsibility to understand the social and political consequences of CO2, that is what we have all these highly paid climate “scientists” for. If they can’t make their case and win an honest debate, then that is their fault. Don’t blame Exxon for the failure of climate “scientists.”

      • I don’t disagree the UN has played a role in lending undeserved legitimacy to the entire charade, but I haven’t seen evidence to indict that group for potential stock manipulation, whereas I think there is reason to investigate these people (State AG’s) on those grounds.
        Publishing unsupported allegations of securities fraud is a method that has been used in the past to drive a stock price down and allow short sellers to profit. All of the folks in this cabal should be carefully investigated to make sure they haven’t directly or indirectly profited from making those allegations.

  33. These AGs are complete idiots. Stranded assets would take oil off the market. The shortage would drive the price of oil higher. Taking production off line would simply make Exxon far more profitable as they make much more per gallon on their existing oil. The higher price of oil would eventually force the Government to relax restrictions and allow for more drilling and those stranded assets would once again become productive assets. Supply shocks usually benefit the producers. Oil companies benefited greatly in the 1970s when OPEC reduced the global supply of oil. Also, much is not most of Exxon’s oil production comes from outside the US. Exxon would simply relocate to the UK or the Middle East like Halliburton did. Exxon doesn’t need the US, the US needs Exxon’s oil and gas.

    • All the points you make are good, and why I’ve long thought if there was an under the table link between Big Oil and AGW, it’s with the promoters of AGW and the environmental activists who demonize nuclear energy. If you use a simple “follow the money” approach, t seems clear hydrocarbon energy producers benefit from suppressing all other practical forms of energy. Hydro an nuclear on on the list. Enforced scarcity is also a clear benefit to those organizations.

  34. So, it was all really about securities fraud. Why, then, were scores of non-profits swept up in Schneidermann et al’s subpoenas?

Comments are closed.