Chevron CEO John Watson had a shocking message Wednesday for environmentalists looking to kill the fossil fuel industry: Global warming worries could help the oil giant.
“I hope to gain market share in some areas,” Watson said ahead of a shareholder meeting when talking about activists pushing shareholder resolutions for companies to disclose the costs of global warming on businesses.
Watson questioned the premise of such disclosures and noted how warming could even benefit companies like Chevron, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Watson said government regulations to get off energy sources that emit lots of carbon dioxide, like coal, could increase Chevron’s market share from increased demand for natural gas, which emits much less than CO2.
The oil CEO is no global warming skeptic, but believes free markets are a better solution to tackling environmental issues than top-down government mandates. He said fossil fuels provides most of the energy we need to have a modern world, and few people can afford hiking energy prices in the name of global warming.
“You can sign agreements in Paris, that’s a good step,” Watson said. “But when you sign agreements and create the impression that it’s going to be implemented when no one’s identified the trillions of dollars that it’s going to cost, it’s just not clear that’s going to deliver.”
Chevron’s set itself apart from other companies on the climate issue, as competitors like Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil have tried to appease environmentalists by advocating for pricing carbon dioxide emissions.
But appeasing environmental groups hasn’t seemed to help. Shell’s Arctic operations inspired mass protests and Exxon is under attack by environmentalists and Democrats for allegedly lying to the public about global warming.
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