Climate Leadership Council on Defense (ExxonMobil caper hits the front group)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — August 19, 2021

“Hence the CLC decision to ‘suspend’ ExxonMobil. Why did they not expel them once and for all? Obviously, the CLC hopes that ExxonMobil will grovel, endorse ever-more strongly the ‘climate crisis’ narrative and the imperative for climate policies making energy more expensive, and then — above all else — write a big check to the CLC as an exercise in the only kind of penance applauded by the political Left.”

“So bad at ideological battle are ExxonMobil and many others in the fossil-fuel sector that they remain convinced that a stance of ‘Me Too, But Less’ is politically viable.”

– Benjamin, Zycher, “The Climate Leadership Council ‘Suspends’ ExxonMobil.” August 16, 2021.

Unlimited money has produced a number of questionable groups that claim to be “bipartisan,” “conservative,” or “Republican.” The Climate Leadership Council (formed: 2017) bought off some big Republican names (George Shultz, James Baker) and enlisted defensive corporations to front a carbon tax where “all” Americans receive “dividend payments” to make the levy “revenue neutral.”

Never mind the government promising to return with one hand what it takes from the other … per dollar … per person, per time period. Never mind the international trade war from “border adjustments” that go along with the tax.

The idea is to get the climate policy train going and fill in the blanks or endure the pushback later. Create a new normal, a new baseline from which to ratchet upward. It’s all part of what Milton Friedman called “the tyranny of the status quo.”

Enter ExxonMobil, a company that got caught (below) in an open secret: trying to be what it is not. ExxonMobil is an oil and gas company seven days a week, every week of the year. Yet it tries to “manage” the CO2 reduction politics as if its action makes a climate difference or will make its vehement critics lay off.

And for this debacle, the Climate Leadership Council ‘cancelled’ its founding corporate sponsor, on which Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute weights in.

Exxon Mobil Climate Strategy

In an undercover sting operation, a Greenpeace operative got answers out of Keith McCoy, senior director for government affairs for ExxonMobil. Here is his most important answer, which was as honest and accurate as can be.

Nobody is going to propose a [carbon] tax on all Americans. And the cynical side of me says, yeah, we kind of know that. But it gives us a talking point so we can say, “well, what does Exxon Mobil [stand?] for, we’re for a carbon tax.” … [A] carbon tax isn’t going to happen.

In response, the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), selling the Bipartisan Climate Solution” to “cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by 2035 while investing all Americans in a clean energy future,” suspended Exxon Mobil as a member!

Zycher Weighs In

Straight shooter, quick-study PhD economist Benjamin Zycher could not resist the irony of the whole thing, beginning with two-faced, contra-capitalistic Exxon Mobil.

His recent National Review Online article, “The Climate Leadership Council ‘Suspends’ ExxonMobil,” quoted above, should be read in its entirety. Zycher laments the decline of the once storied corporation from John D. Rockefeller through Lee Raymond. He imagines what a strong company would have said to the CLC and otherwise should begin doing in an about-face (see Appendix).

But this story does not quite end here. It turns out that CLC did a little air-brushing of its own in light of Zycher’s analysis. He reported to a list-serve:

So in the 2nd paragraph of the Exxon column, I had a link to the original WSJ ad in which EM was listed as a “corporate founding member” of the CLC.  (“……… one of the Corporate Founding Members of the CLC in June 2017.”)  I looked at that ad/link not more than three days ago.  So guess what has disappeared?  That’s right: That link now goes to a page reading: “Not Found —– Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist.” …

Fortunately, the memory of the Internet is long, and the ad is here. But for how long?  Who knew that the CLC reads NRO?

Appendix: What ExxonMobil Should Have Said

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods could have had a Lee Raymond moment in the wake of the Greenpeace caper. “Comments made by the individuals in no way represent the company’s position on a variety of issues,” he stated. “including climate policy and our firm commitment that carbon pricing is important to addressing climate change.”

But what should have ExxonMobil stated to be both honest and principled? Benjamin Zycher provided that as well in his NRO piece.

There is no need for CLC to suspend us; we resign, enthusiastically, from the CLC, effective one hour before said suspension. It was a major error in our judgment to have joined previously as a Founding Member, regardless of the CLC effort to rewrite history. Notwithstanding the blatant CLC effort now to induce us to write them a big check and to endorse destructive polices so that they will pretend to respect us again, we will not rejoin under any circumstances. We have learned over the past four years what we should have understood from the beginning: Like all of the climate left, the CLC is fundamentally dishonest, a premise that we are prepared to support in detail, about the science of climate change, about the evidence on climate phenomena, and about the effects of the CLC policy proposals.

Fossil fuels have served to lift billions of humans out of grinding poverty, have saved countless numbers of lives, have provided the inputs for myriad products without which life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, and have helped to create the vast increase in wealth that allows for huge social investment in environmental improvement. The ideological crusade against fossil fuels, now masquerading as an effort to “save the planet” from a “climate crisis,” is fundamentally anti-human, and henceforth ExxonMobil will stand proudly in opposition to such an imperative. We will defend ourselves, the production of fossil fuels, and capitalism without hesitation, without compromise, and without apology. We urge the other members of our industry to join us in a renewed pursuit of truth and analytic rigor.

Bravo! … Maybe Alex Epstein can take it from here.

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Dom B
August 20, 2021 6:23 pm

Winston Churchill said something like, the appeaser is someone who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

ExxonMobil and others like them will someday regret not honestly fighting.

Reply to  Dom B
August 21, 2021 2:04 am

One by one they are surrendering to the global warming taliban mafia.

August 20, 2021 6:38 pm

The idea of cooperating with tyrants (which is what Marxists and most environmentalists and the woke are in their hearts) is stupid. We know that from 20th century history.

It didn’t work in the Soviet Union. It didn’t work in Germany. It didn’t work in China. etc. etc. etc.

Here’s the short version of an indictment of those who were too cowardly to stand up to Hitler when it was still possible to do so.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

   Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

   Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

   Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


In The Real World
Reply to  commieBob
August 21, 2021 3:03 am

CommieBob , that is what you get if you look up things on Wiki .
Lots of left wingers hate it that the Nazi,s were Socialists , and for a long time have tried to hide the fact that the ” National Sozialist Workers party of Germany ” were another variation of the socialist dogma .
Here is an election manifesto of the Nazi party in the 1930s , clearly showing their ideals .

So it was not originally ” First they came for the Socialists ” , because it was the Socialists who were coming for anybody they disagreed with .

Reply to  In The Real World
August 21, 2021 9:05 am

OK they were the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. That’s what they called themselves. So if they were a workers’ party why did they shut down the trade unions?

Hitler went after anyone who disagreed with him. link That certainly included communists and socialists and Protestants and Catholics and anyone else who got up his nose.

On the other hand, why does the left get away with calling the Nazis far right? IMHO, that’s as stupid as calling Stalin far left.

Totalitarian despots are just that. They don’t belong on the left-right axis. They’re somewhere else all by themselves. Any ideology they espouse is just a way to control the people.

On the other, other hand … I can’t see how Marxism can produce any result other than totalitarianism. Organizations are eventually taken over by exactly the people you don’t want running them. iron law of oligarchy The beauty of democratic capitalism is that companies are allowed to fail and political leaders can be tossed out. That means the ‘wrong people’ have trouble seizing the levers of power on a permanent basis.

Reply to  commieBob
August 21, 2021 9:59 am

They were socialists not for who they oppressed, they were socialist due to their economic programs.
Private ownership, but government making all the decisions.

All forms of socialism must eventually devolve into totalitarianism for the simple reason that socialism doesn’t work, and in an attempt to make it work, the socialists must over time assume more and more control over everything.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
August 21, 2021 3:59 pm

“Totalitarian despots are just that. They don’t belong on the left-right axis. They’re somewhere else all by themselves. Any ideology they espouse is just a way to control the people.”

That’s right.

Reply to  commieBob
August 23, 2021 5:50 pm

I find the analogy “If they can do it to them they eventually will do it to us”
more sober and less passive.

Ron Long
August 20, 2021 6:38 pm

I’m sure that ExxonMobil has a Technical Advisory Committee who reviews stockholder (both majority and minority) issues and advises the Board of Directors. The attempt at virtue signaling to avoid the variety of attacks favored by the CAGW (and associates) crowd doesn’t surprise me, and ExxonMobil trying to low-profile the carbon issue won’t surprise me either. Remember, the corporate goal is to maximize shareholder wealth, not produce oil or gas or anything else.

August 20, 2021 7:21 pm

The tragedy here is, that ExxonMobil was unable to hire someone to proof CO2 induced global warming to be hoax. But hey, if someone listens, I can do the job 😉

Reply to  E. Schaffer
August 20, 2021 7:26 pm

 if someone listens”

Always with the unreasonable demands…

Adam Gallon
Reply to  E. Schaffer
August 21, 2021 12:55 am

No they can’t, as CO2 does have an effect on temperature.
The question is, how much?

Reply to  Adam Gallon
August 21, 2021 1:58 am

Very, very little. And warmer is better for humans.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 21, 2021 4:18 am

And for most life on Earth too!!!

Reply to  Adam Gallon
August 21, 2021 6:05 am

Less than 0.5K for a doubling, including feedbacks.

James F. Evans
August 20, 2021 7:45 pm

A rat in a corner.

August 20, 2021 7:57 pm

XOM should say the company is more friendly to the environment than LukOil….Sinopec….or SaudiAramco. XOM is not such a big boy these days…only $223 billion mkt.cap.

Jeff L
August 20, 2021 8:53 pm

As an alum of XOM, I have to say this is a company run by hyper-logical engineers, scientists & accountants. When they see all the ridiculous climate claims, in their hyper-logical way, say – no one will believe it – it’s complete crap. It is hard for them to conceive how the masses don’t have the same technical & analytical abilities – and that is their downfall. As it is for most of the industry. The industry has been way behind the PR hype for ever because of this mindset. The industry should have squashed CAGW concept like a bug 20+ yrs ago. Would have been too much easier …

August 20, 2021 9:20 pm

A progressive path and grade… will no one relabel these sociopolitically incongruent hydrocarbons.

August 20, 2021 9:39 pm

A billion dollar industry giant was outflanked, outplayed, outem-pathasized by the trillion dollar social industrial complex and colluding competing interests… green, no more.

Vincent Causey
August 21, 2021 12:31 am

CEO’s like Woods understand they are up against more than just the NGOs and the twitter mob. Remember that Mark Carney recently stated “businesses that do not adapt [to sustainability] will go bankrupt, without question.” How can he be so certain? The big financial institutions like Black Rock are gearing up to prevent businesses who “do not adapt” from getting credit. Even Exxon needs credit (so do the FANGS, but they’re on board with the plan). The future looks bleak.

Reply to  Vincent Causey
August 21, 2021 10:02 am

Won’t be long until any company that doesn’t kowtow to the BLM crowd will soon find themselves in the same straits.

August 21, 2021 12:42 am

Sorry. I find this article incoherent.

August 21, 2021 11:26 am

Fossil fuel companies are playing the passive – aggressive card like China. Tell them what they want to hear and continue business as usual. Anything to keep the annoyance off balance and give the appearance of appeasement.

Tom Abbott
August 21, 2021 4:04 pm

From the article: “Nobody is going to propose a [carbon] tax on all Americans. And the cynical side of me says, yeah, we kind of know that. But it gives us a talking point so we can say, “well, what does Exxon Mobil [stand?] for, we’re for a carbon tax.” … [A] carbon tax isn’t going to happen.”

That’s right, a national carbon dioxide tax is not going to happen. Biden is not going to buy into a CO2 tax at this time. He has already said he is against raising the gasoline tax, because prices are soaring and he doesn’t want this blame, and a CO2 tax is just a glorified gasoline tax, which will also harm Biden politically so he’s not going to promote it, despite what AOC and her crowd wants.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 24, 2021 8:53 am

Biden will do or (try to) say anything his handlers want him to do or say.

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