A lifelong oilman who runs ConocoPhillips out of Houston, Jim Mulva will never be called a treehugger. But he is leading his $188-billion-a-year company into uncharted territory, at least for an oil company: ConocoPhillips is the first major U.S. oil firm to support mandatory federal controls on greenhouse gases.
Today’s CNNMoney.com column comes out of a roundtable with reporters that Mulva had in Washington yesterday afternoon. He is about as low-key and soft-spoken a CEO as I’ve ever met, with not a hint of swagger, but it must take guts for a Texas oilman to urge strong, quick action to control carbon emissions. No question but that will drive up the costs of running ConocoPhillips, and the price everyone pays for oil, gas and petrochemicals, which are what the company sells. Here’s how the column begins:
Hereâ€™s yet another sign that the debate over climate change has shifted decisively: ConocoPhillips today becomes the first U.S.-based oil company to support mandatory national regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
In so doing, ConocoPhillips breaks ranks with the two biggest U.S. oil companiesâ€”ExxonMobil and Chevronâ€”as well as with the Bush administration. With revenues of $188 billion in 2006, ConocoPhillips operates in 40 nations around the world from its headquarters in Bush countryâ€”Houston, Texas.
James J. Mulva, the chairman and chief executive of ConocoPhillips, made the announcement at a meeting with reporters. â€œWe believe that the science is quite compelling,â€ Mulva said. â€œHuman activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to climate change. Now is the time we need a national mandated framework to deal with climate change.â€
You can read the rest here.