COMMENTS: Interview had no Carbon Footprint

Anchor Charles Gibson's two-part interview (here and here) with Rex Tillerson, the boss of ExxonMobil, coincided with the latest monthly report on highway traffic. It revealed that American motorists are driving less, almost 5% fewer miles than a year ago, the eighth straight month of cutbacks. ABC's Lisa Stark (embargoed link) on NBC's Tom Costello both covered the trend towards burning less gasoline. Gibson asked Tillerson about the high price of gasoline (the American motorist has been "wise" to drive less); his corporation's healthy profits ($22bn so far this year); its more modest investment ($12bn year to date) in exploration; whether ExxonMobil should pay more taxes ("What is that going to solve?"); and what the mixture of public energy policies should be for the long term. Tillerson called energy independence "not realistic" and recommended an "integrated" combination of increased efficiency, alternate fuel technologies and more drilling for oil without specifying their relative ratios.

No surprise, the phrase global warming and the possible damage to the planet from burning fossil fuels never passed Tillerson's lips. Astonishingly, the phrase never passed Gibson's lips either. What was Gibson thinking? How can he air an eight-minute q-&-a with the leader of the world's largest hydrocarbon conglomerate without once referring to that inconvenient truth?


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