Saturday, December 10, 2016

Steve Holland — Trump to name Exxon CEO Tillerson secretary of state: NBC NEWS

I've been expecting this. Good choice — if Trump follows through with it. It's unconfirmed as yet.

Leaves no doubt that it's all about the oil, stupid.

If this is true, it's a huge break with the status quo. Tillerson is eminently qualified, too, since he already knows most of the major players and understands business negotiation. With his level of organizational experience, he will be able to reshape the US State Department, too. As a bonus, he is also an engineer.

Tillerson at State would also be bullish economically, since he would be focused on deals, just like Trump.

Of course, the bar was set very low since it was expected that HRC would have chosen Victoria Nuland, so anyone Trump picked would be better, excepting John Bolton, who was on Trump's transition team's list.

Unfortunately, Russia Insider is reporting, "… according to one source, Bolton might be slated as Tillerson's deputy secretary." Bolton is to the right of Victoria Nuland, who is only a neocon, while Bolton is an Iran war hawk.

Trump to name Exxon CEO Tillerson secretary of state: NBC NEWS
Steve Holland


Trump Goes Corporate on Secretary of State Pick
Tory Newmyer


Unknown said...

It is all about energy - and Tillerson knows it. He also knows about climate change, since Exxon has known about it for decades. And Exxon is not invested in alternative energy - so when the push to alternative energy finally comes - and it will, then there is no conflict of interest.

Any push towards oil will be viewed as a conflict of interest.

Tom Hickey said...

I was listening to an NPR panel on energy some years ago. One of the participants was an Exxon VP for alt energy. He said that Exxon is an energy company rather than an oil company and that Exxon intends to dominate the energy markets in the future.

He said that, for example, Exxon was prepared to go to hydrogen immediately for auto fuel but it was not gong to happen without either the cost of fossil fuels rising to make it economically feasible, or government imposing it by law, and any government that imposed it at that point would not be reelected for fifty years owing to the cost differential.

Tom Hickey said...

One of the panelists was an archconservative. In response to the issue that limited resources as more countries came online would mean that the US could not continue using the outlandish ratio of resources to population that it has enjoyed in the past. Here response was that we got here first and should prevent others from entering if it becomes a matter of scarcity, militarily if need be.

Ryan Harris said...
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John said...

"He said that Exxon is an energy company rather than an oil company and that Exxon intends to dominate the energy markets in the future."

I've heard people from BP and Shell say exactly the same thing, as if they're either singing from the same sheet or, more likely, they know the future is alternative energy. And if Exxon isn't in on the act, they're the dumbest company that's ever been.

The question is how can you control alternative energy. With fossil fuels, whoever's got the stuff is in a strong bargaining position. With, say, a wind turbine or a solar cell, once the technology is known, it'll be available to all. There is presumably no control over energy, just access, which will be easily replicated just about everywhere.

That's all to the good. Via its client states, Washington won't be able to use the oil weapon. Energy will be plentiful even to the poorest countries and thus allowing development to occur and poverty to plummet. The environment may recover. Countries may go to war over oil, but they won't go to war over wind turbines. The jihadis lose their financing and the Gulf state dictatorships can thankfully collapse. Israel will lose its sugar daddy and protector. The Middle East can recover - while the US confrontation with China continues. All predicated on whether we can see out the next few decades without another world war turning the planet into ash.

Ryan Harris said...

In a market dominated by renewables production isn't valuable because prices drop below zero while the sun shines or wind blows but storage and transmission are hot commodities.

John said...

Ryan: "...but storage and transmission are hot commodities."

That's true, but that won't be hard to replicate by less scientifically advanced countries like China and India, or eventually the undeveloped countries. I would also add the closely linked problem of efficiency, because even if you could get 100% storage some of the energy generated is low. But like most technical problems, that'll eventually get ironed out in the next thirty, forty or fifty years. I'd love to understand the thinking of a company like Exxon or BP. Do they really think the big bucks is going to be in transmission and storage? And that they'll be given some monopoly in providing energy?

Whether the US or Germany or Japan or whoever figures the storage and transmission problems out first, within a few years everybody else would have figured it out too. Whether its cars, nuclear power, rockets, satellites, cheap generic drugs, smart phones or drones, once the breakthrough is made they're easily replicated by others. If BP or Exxon get there first, the Chinese and Indians won't be far behind.

It makes you wonder what the world economy would look like if there was limitless renewable energy even in the poorest countries. That would turn the world nearly upside down. It may also solve the lack of water in many places through desalination. Brave new world here we come...if we live that long.

bbbar said...

Tom, don't sell Victoria Nuland short; I'm sure she could be just as stupid on Iran as John Bolton is.

Matt Franko said...

"The Middle East can recover "

they hit their apex about 3 years ago...