Hot Air


It’s 94 degrees and humid in New York today.

In 1997, BP CEO Sir John Browne delivered a speech in which he broke with the oil industry to acknowledge that global warming is an issue with which we all must contend. At the time, he probably didn’t know the degree to which his radical stance would transform the image of his company, let alone his own. At the time, no other major oil company admitted any possible role in global climate change. Most belonged or funded organizations that fought the notion that big oil contributes to this problem. Many have since come around, but not the world’s largest — Exxon Mobil.

Today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the stalwart policies of the recalcitrant Exxon and its long-time CEO Lee Raymond, who steadfastly refuses to acknowledge any human culpability in global warming.

How does this affect the perception of the company? For the financial community, all of whom read the Wall Street Journal, Raymond’s position will probably be seen in a positive light. After all, being a good environmental steward can be costly.

For BP, doing good has translated into doing well. Take notice, Mr. Raymond.