Friday, May 27, 2016

Chevron CEO says global warming could be good for business

Published: May 24, 2016 7:50 p.m. ET

BySarah Kent

John Watson says greenhouse-gas pacts futile, shift to natural gas may benefit company

John Watson, chairman and chief executive officer of Chevron Corp., speaks in Perth, Australia, in April.

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Chevron Corp. Chief Executive John Watson has a blunt message for investors, climate activists and anyone else listening: Fossil fuels aren’t going away.

But this stance increasingly sets him apart from his oil counterparts as they react to pressure from climate-change activists and concerned shareholders.

On Wednesday, Chevron CHV, +1.45%  , like Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +0.13%  , is facing a shareholder-proposal campaign by activists who want the company to detail the risk climate change poses to its business. Exxon is opposed to the proposal, and so is Watson: He questions its entire premise, arguing that climate change might even prove positive for Chevron, if it spurs more of the planet to shift from coal to natural gas.  MORE