Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest traded oil and natural gas company, is keeping fossil fuels as part of its primary strategy for the near term despite a growing U.S. government push for alternative energy sources with less impact on climate change, the company’s chief executive said recently.
Our approach to alternative energy in the near term is alternative ways to consume fossil fuels more efficiently, CEO Rex Tillerson said during the firm's annual shareholder meeting last week, the Dallas Morning News reported.
In the U.S., tighter vehicle efficiency standards announced by President Barack Obama last month will drop demand for gasoline, the same way it has declined in Europe, Tillerson was quoted as saying.
He noted a brighter outlook for Asia’s oil market, however, saying the world will continue to rely on fossil fuels for decades to come. He forecasted gasoline demand to triple in China by 2030 and increase in India and the rest of Asia as well.
The report noted some shareholders have rebuked the company for not investing in fuels other than hydrocarbons.
Shareholder proposals to force changes in the company’s policies failed after a majority vote. Proposals voted down included a decision to invest in fuels beyond hydrocarbons, take steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions or make resolutions to invest in renewable energy technologies.
Later this year, the U.S. Congress could pass a cap-and-trade law that may curb profits for oil companies, an issue that is of the great concern for the company and its shareholders. The law is aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Although oil prices fell as low as $32.40 in December, Exxon Mobil was able to emerge as the top company in 2009 in the Fortune 500 list that ranks America's largest corporations.