Exxon Mobil, the largest US oil company, is threatening to leave Europe because of new tax plans that will tax the large profits of energy companies. Was Darren Woodsthe executive president of the company, who announced the decision in the intervention CERAWeek Conferencein which he accused Brussels of not investing in the renewal of new energy.
“We are taking a step back and rethinking what we are doing in Europe,” said the executive, in order to ask for a more permissive tax policy like in the US: “To tilt our business more to the right and address CO2 emissions.” To Woods, his company in Europe is described as “stuck in a mine”.
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“We’re taking a step back and we can do what we’re doing in Europe.”
Exxon believes that new European taxes on perishable products will prevent it from having enough capital to invest in the energy transition and therefore comply with European decarbonisation plans. “Governments have a very important role in the energy transition, but they must encourage the development of new technologies without compromising the supply of oil that meets global demand,” he said.
Exxon has an important presence in Europe, is one of the largest petrochemical companies that operates in the old continent and has facilities and refineries in fourteen countries, in addition to an accumulated investment that, according to the company, is worth 20000 million in cash.
The words of the forest, however, did not catch the European leaders by surprise. In February, ExxonMobil’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Governance in Europe, Nicholas BaeckelmansHe published an open letter to show his disapproval of the new extraordinary European taxes and to explain the dangers that could pose an investment in the old continent.
A company that hides its impact on climate change
In addition to being an economic mastodon, Exxon is one of the biggest CO2 emitters on the planet and one of the companies that has contributed the most to the climate crisis. In fact, the oil company hid for decades that its activities were warming the planet.
A publication in Science magazine last January revealed that the company’s climate projections for fossil fuel models between 1977 and 2003 were not openly disclosed. The company has made dozens of reports and distributed many internal documents proving that its business accelerates global warming.