Jul 19, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – An article in the Wall Street Journal and compressed by KN on July 9, gives a peek into the attitudes and conduct of Exxon’s leaders whenever money is involved. The company, as powered by unimaginably greedy leaders, is all about money, and more money. As Guyanese begin to understand what could happen with this oil wealth of ours, if Exxon and partners get their way. Every citizen must realise that Exxon and its captains are not partners in the true sense of the word, but a cabal of eye-gouging, backstabbing, disemboweling corporate rogues, who never give up a penny without the greatest resistance.
The article in the Wall Street Journal was titled, “Oil companies are ordered to help cover S7.2B cleanup bill in Gulf of Mexico” (July 6). The Journal gave an early indication of what the court ruling involved, with a subhead to that headline, which read: “Large oil companies will have to foot some of the costs of capping and abandoning offshore wells they used to own.”
The revelations of where Exxon originally stood when this matter was placed before the court come later, as we will make clear. Let it be sufficient to say that Exxon has issues with taking any responsibility, when the matter of money comes up. What Guyanese should know is that, that court ruling of $7.2B is in US dollars, and though spread out over several gargantuan oil powers, among which Exxon and Hess are numbered, Exxon is still balking.
Exxon kicked and screamed in objection from the beginning, because its number crunching people estimate that the company could be on the hook for $373 million, while insurers say it could more than a billion. Exxon takes serious issue, with paying a few billions of dollars of expenses in Guyana dollars (US$5M equals a billion GYD), so it is expected that company executives will appeal this decision from the US Federal court. This hostile, non-cooperative standard is what characterises how Exxon’s top leaders have reacted over the decades when money has to go away from the company. It minimises responsibility to maximise profiteering in any situation, making good use of a big bag of tricks.
What should be of interest to Guyanese, is that in the United States, the Federal government, through the “Department of the Interior can hold previous operators liable for the cleanup…to avoid taxpayers incurring the cost.” Exxon was a previous operator, but its leaders want others to foot the bill for cleanup. And that is why Exxon did not join with “Chevron Corp and Apache Corp” when, along with others, it signed off in acknowledgment of, and commitment to honouring, their share of cleanup liabilities. There is a clear and harsh message in the Gulf of Mexico development for Guyanese. It is that when any responsibility has to be accepted by Exxon, and any money paid by the company, that is as good as dead in the water.
Because of the above, Exxon’s attitude and record when liabilities that belong to it, and have to be paid, it is mystifying that this country’s Vice President and all-world wise oilman, Bharrat Jagdeo, adopts a position that is utterly senseless on its face, and clashes with the sound judgment that comes from commonsense reasoning.
The Vice President is on record as saying, that it is his position (belief) that Exxon will honour any liabilities incurred by Guyana from the company’s oil operations here, in the event of a disastrous oil spill. In other words, Mr. Jagdeo, for some secret reason known only to himself, tells Guyanese that Exxon will be good for the money. The company has problems with paying its fair share of expenses for drilling and producing here, but it will pay billions should a spill occur.
Is the VP still in charge of his mind, his own man? The company is deceptive with its financials for Guyana that it will step up for us, should a catastrophic situation occur. Exxon doesn’t payout money, it takes away money, even from the poor. Yet, Guyana’s Vice President is comfortable without comprehensive insurance coverage paid for by Exxon. Somebody is on something, and it is not us at this paper.
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