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Thursday, November 05, 2015

Carbon Bubble End Game: TBTF Redux

It's highly likely that fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil will not be allowed, either by the free market or government fiat, to extract all of their reserves in the ground. That means the Carbon Bubble will be popped, sooner or later, and asset prices of fossil fuel companies have a strong future downtrend to contend with.

Since Exxon has done the most research on the subject of Climate Change by their own admission, you would think they had a plan: the handwriting is on the wall. So far, the only part of the plan we've seen them implement is funding climate change deniers. That hasn't worked, obviously. What exactly is their plan?

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, appeared on Fox Business yesterday, but gave no hint that he even understood the basics of the changes that are already in the pipeline. When asked about the effect of self-driving cars, he answered that it would increase the demand for gasoline because more cars would be sold. That answer shows that he hasn't thought the process through at all. When driverless cars are sold, they are most likely going to be electric cars, not gas-guzzlers, and that will reduce demand for internal combustion cars.

Electric cars have so many advantages over fossil fuel cars that the economics of electrics will trounce fossil fuels. They have far fewer moving parts, they will be much more economical to operate and batteries will drop sharply in the near future. That means driverless cars will be cheaper to own and operate than fossil fuel cars.

This one point reveals that the head of ExxonMobil has no plans on how to deal with the bursting of the Carbon Bubble. If you had to make out a list of the Too Big To Fail companies, ExxonMobil would surely be near the top of the list. That means that when ExxonMobil goes down in flames, it will be the taxpayers who are called on to bail them out of their misery. Just like General Motors in 2008 in fact. That's not only a shame, it's a disgrace for the public, which have been misled and lied to by the fossil fuel companies for several decades.