Exxon's Future

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill. Peter Waldman, senior writer for Portfolio, discusses the future of the oil company in the new green economy.


Peter Waldman

Comments [12]


agree w david/11

we al heard the exxon exec -- he plainly said that "his job is to maximize shareholder profits."

what corps can and cannot do -- that's what govt regulations are for. if it's too risky for the president or congress to create common sense environmental laws that cut back on their earning streams, why on earth would a private oil company?

Mar. 23 2009 11:58 AM
David Latham

It's easy to beat up on Exxon - they're a big, inviting target. I believe their point is that they're not a venture capital company, that's not their strength. In order to maximize shareholder wealth they need to stick to what they do best, find and refine oil. Let the VC companies find and invest in new energy sources. That's what they're in business for. Exxon can always buy into these new technologies later, when they're developed more. In the meantime they are developing new sources of oil and returning value to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends.

Mar. 23 2009 11:49 AM
jennifer from staten island

I have been faithfully boycotting Exxon and then Exxon/Mobile for 20 years since the Valdez spill, as I hope others have done.

Has the company been effected by Valdez boycotts at all?

Mar. 23 2009 11:46 AM
josh levine

rich/7 -- maybe i'm just too conservative i don't calculate "what if co2 is not causing global warming" as the deciding factor in my worldview and consumption behavior. i calculate "what if co2 is causing global warming."

Mar. 23 2009 11:45 AM

What would happen if these mathematical models do not make accurate predictions? According to scientist John Christy, they are not accurate when compared to actual temperature record. Plus, UN IPCC’s William Schlesinger admits that only 20% of IPCC scientists deal with climate during a debate with John Christy. So who knows if that these scientists predict will actually come true.

What does Exxon do then after "going green"

Mar. 23 2009 11:45 AM
Rich from brooklyn

What if C02 is not causing global warming but rather events that are beyond our control. What happens to an Exxon that still plans its future based on oil as a major energy source.
Can we have full discussion.

Mar. 23 2009 11:42 AM

If the Exxon shareholder doesn't like the long-term prospects of the company. Why not sell the stock and invest in companies that are pursuing the policies and technologies that she likes?

Mar. 23 2009 11:38 AM

I politely request that everyone at NPR talks like this dissident Rockefeller. Say for two weeks, and/or for Lent. Jackie Lydon is exempted.

Mar. 23 2009 11:38 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

What the guest is saying makes Exxon-Mobil sound like the American auto companies -- trying to milk profits out of their legacy business model, instead of blazing new trails in renewable energy -- this despite the ineveitable fate of these old models.

Another huge, monolithic company/industry, with its head in the sand.

Mar. 23 2009 11:33 AM

How much does Exxon Paid in taxes over the past few years.

I understand that 29 major energy producing companies paid $25.9 billion in U.S. federal taxes in 2006, in addition to about $55 billion in foreign income taxes.

Also according to his Business school professor:

Exxon paid $32.36 Billion Taxes in the 2nd quarter of 2008.

Are they paying too little?

Mar. 23 2009 10:44 AM
Jim from Bridgewater, NJ

In April 2006, NPR cited a report in the Journal Science indicating that 100 tons of oil may still remain in Prince William Sound.

Have any further studies confirmed this estimate?

Is anything being done to clean this up the remaining oil?


Mar. 23 2009 10:02 AM
Peter Ramsay from PEI, Canada

What have we learned after 20 years? How frequently since 1989 have oil spills been the result of human error? Are we more prepared now to deal with an ecological disaster in remote locations? For a human parallel to the Exxon Valdez story cut and paste this link into your browser and check it out.

Mar. 23 2009 06:31 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.