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Authors: Steve Coll

Tags: #General, #Biography & Autobiography, #bought-and-paid-for, #United States, #Political Aspects, #Business & Economics, #Economics, #Business, #Industries, #Energy, #Government & Business, #Petroleum Industry and Trade, #Corporate Power - United States, #Infrastructure, #Corporate Power, #Big Business - United States, #Petroleum Industry and Trade - Political Aspects - United States, #Exxon Mobil Corporation, #Exxon Corporation, #Big Business

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

BOOK: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
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A
LSO
BY
S
TEVE
C
OLL

 

The Bin Ladens

Ghost Wars

On the Grand Trunk Road

Eagle on the Street
(with David A. Vise)

The Taking of Getty Oil

The Deal of the Century

PRIVATE EMPIRE

EXXONMOBIL
AND
AMERICAN POWER

Steve Coll

THE PENGUIN PRESS

NEW YORK

2012

THE PENGUIN PRESS

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published in 2012 by The Penguin Press,

a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Copyright © Steve Coll, 2012

All rights reserved

Map illustrations by Gene Thorpe

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA

Coll, Steve.

Private empire : ExxonMobil and American power / by Steve Coll.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-101-57214-6

1. Exxon Corporation. 2. Exxon Mobil Corporation. 3. Petroleum industry and trade—Political aspects—United States. 4. Corporate power—United States. 5. Big business—United States. I. Title.

HD9569.E95C65 2012

338.7'6223380973—dc23

2011044722

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

Contents

 

LIST OF MAPS

AUTHOR’S NOTE

SELECTED CAST OF CHARACTERS

Prologue.
“I’m Going to the White House on This”

PART ONE: THE END OF EASY OIL

One.
“One Right Answer”

Two.
“Iron Ass”

Three.
“Is the Earth Really Warming?”

Four.
“Do You Really Want Us as an Enemy?”

Five.
“Unknown Injury”

Six.
“E.G. Month!”

Seven.
“The Camel and the Jackal”

Eight.
“We Target Oil Companies”

Nine.
“Real Men—They Discover Oil”

Ten.
“It’s Not Quite as Bad as It Sounds”

Eleven.
“The Haifa Pipeline”

Twelve.
“How High Can We Fly?”

Thirteen.
“Assisted Regime Change”

Fourteen.
“Informed Influentials”

PART TWO: THE RISK CYCLE

Fifteen.
“On My Honor”

Sixteen.
“Chad Can Live Without Oil”

Seventeen.
“I Pray for Exxon”

Eighteen.
“We Will Need Witnesses”

Nineteen.
“The Cash Waterfall”

Twenty.
“Moonshine”

Twenty-one.
“Can’t the C.I.A. and the Navy Solve This Problem?”

Twenty-two.
“A Person Would Have to Eat More Than 3,400 Rubber Ducks”

Twenty-three.
“We Must End the Age of Oil”

Twenty-four.
“Are We Out? Or In?”

Twenty-five.
“It’s Not My Money to Tithe”

Twenty-six.
“We’re Confident You Can Book the Reserves”

Twenty-seven.
“One Plus One Has Got to Equal Three”

Twenty-eight.
“It Just Happened”

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

Author’s Note

 

F
our journalists made important contributions to this book while working as researchers during the four-year life of the project. Ben Van Huevelen, who is now the managing editor of the
Iraq Oil Report
, worked on that subject and ExxonMobil’s litigation with Venezuela, as well as on corporate responsibility issues in Africa and Indonesia. Megha Rajagopalan, a 2008 graduate of the University of Maryland who is now studying in China under the Fulbright Scholar Program, worked on global warming, the
Exxon Valdez
spill, and phthalate regulation; chapters five and twenty-two benefited greatly from her research. Ann O’Hanlon, a former
Washington Post
reporter who now works at the Justice Department, reported on many subjects, but especially on campaign finance and lobbying; her work particularly supported chapters three, seventeen, twenty-two, and twenty-three. Haley Cohen, a 2011 graduate of Yale University who is now on a university fellowship in Latin America, recontacted many interview subjects, checked facts and interpretations, and added fresh reporting throughout. The book benefited from other supporters and collaborators; the acknowledgments provide an accounting. I am grateful and deeply indebted to all.

Selected Cast of Characters

 

AT EXXONMOBIL

 

Russell Bowen
,
Maryland
territory manager

John Paul Chaplin
, lead country manager, Nigeria, circa 2005–2009

Ken Cohen
, vice president of public affairs

Tim Cutt
, lead country manager, Venezuela, 2005–2007

Steven K. Davidson
, outside lawyer in Venezuelan litigation

Theresa Fariello
, director of the Washington office, 2009 to present

Brian Flannery
, astrophysicist, climate policy adviser

Rosemarie Forsythe
, Russia adviser, planner for international political strategy

Edward G. Galante
, senior executive, contender to succeed Raymond, retired 2006

Otto Harrison
, lead executive on
Exxon Valdez
cleanup

Ralph Daniel Nelson
, lead country manager, Saudi Arabia, 2001–2004, director of the Washington office, 2005–2009

Lee R. Raymond
, chairman and chief executive, 1993–2005

James Rouse
, director of the Washington office, late 1990s–2005

Ron Royal
, lead country manager, Chad, circa 2006

James F. Sanders
, lead outside lawyer,
Alban v. ExxonMobil

Frank Sprow
, vice president, Safety, Health, and Environment, 2000–2005

Sherri Stuewer
, senior executive, environmental policy, 2006 to present

Rex Tillerson
, upstream executive with responsibility for Russia, later chairman and chief executive, 2006 to present

Glenn Waller
, lead country manager, Russia, circa 2003

Martin J. Weinstein
, lead outside lawyer,
John Doe v. ExxonMobil

Ronald I. Wilson
, lead country manager, Indonesia

IN THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

 

Representative Joe Barton
, R-Texas, 1984 to present

George W. Bush
, president, 2001–2009

Richard B. Cheney
, vice president, 2001–2009

Representative John Dingell
, D-Mich., 1955 to present

Don Evans
, secretary of commerce, 2001–2005

Douglas Feith
, undersecretary of defense for policy, 2001–2005

Robert Gelbard
, ambassador to Indonesia, 1999–2001

Christopher Goldthwait
, ambassador to Chad, 1999–2004

Barack Obama
, president, 2009–

Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer
, United States District Court, Washington, D.C.

Colin Powell
, secretary of state, 2001–2005

Anton Smith
, United States chargé d’affaires, Equatorial Guinea, 2008–2009

Alexander Vershbow
, ambassador to Russia, 2001–2005

Marc Wall
, ambassador to Chad, 2004–2007

Paul Wolfowitz
, deputy secretary of defense, 2001–2005; president, World Bank, 2005–2007

IN AFRICA

 

Victor Attah
, governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, 1999–2007

Idris Déby
, president of Chad, 1990 to present

Simon Mann
, former British Army officer, led coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea

Teodoro Obiang Nguema
, president of Equatorial Guinea, 1979 to present

IN ALASKA

 

Joseph Haze
lwood
, Jr.
, captain,
Exxon Valdez

Mandy Lindeberg
, biologist, N.O.A.A.

Jeffrey Short
, chemist, N.O.A.A.

IN INDONESIA

 

Abu Jack
, guerrilla commander, Free Aceh Movement

Hasan di Tiro
, leader of Free Aceh Movement

IN MARYLAND

 

Andrea Loiero
, manager, Jacksonville Exxon

Stephen Snyder
, plaintiffs’ lawyer

IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz
, crown prince, later king of Saudi Arabia

Thamir Ghadhban
, senior official, Iraq Ministry of Oil

Ali Al-Naimi
, oil minister of Saudi Arabia

Prince Saud Al-Faisal
, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia

Hussain Al-Shahristani
, deputy prime minister, Iraq

IN RUSSIA

 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
, president, Yukos Oil

Bruce Misamore
, chief financial officer, Yukos Oil

Vladimir Putin
, president, Russian Federation, 2000–2008

IN VENEZUELA

 

Hugo Chavez
, president, Venezuela, 1999 to present

Joseph Pizzurro
, Venezuela’s outside lawyer in litigation with ExxonMobil

BOOK: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
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