Christine Bader: ExxonMobil CEO Ignores Ground Zero of Energy Security
Truman Security Fellow Christine Bader in Natural Gas Europe:
In a speech Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson spoke about energy security, which he defined as “securing access to energy in a reliable, relatively affordable way.” He spent much of his speech emphasizing the technology his company invests in to mitigate environmental risks, saying that “as long as we as an industry follow good engineering practices and standards, these risks are entirely manageable.”
However, energy security is fundamentally about social risk, which cannot be engineered away. The geopolitical dimension of these challenges is well-known: unrest in the resource-rich nations of the Middle East, China’s controversial expansion into Africa. The intergovernmental aspects of resource development can to some extent be externalized by companies, outsourced to government into the separate world of “policy,” as Tillerson labelled it.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Truman National Security Project or Educational Institute.