Transcript: Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO

CHARLES GIBSON: But that makes Americans quite upset, the idea that we're -- first of all, that we're sending that much money overseas; and, secondly, that we have to be dependent on oil-producing nations. But let me come back to what he's saying. Is that even in the realm of possibility that you can eliminate in 10 years the need for -- may it be limited -- Saudi Arabian and Venezuelan oil?

REX TILLERSON: I think it's going to be very challenging to achieve that goal, Charlie, in that period of time. And, again, so much of the energy issue that the United States deals with and the world deals with, people I think do not have an appreciation for the lead times that are required. The energy complex is enormous. And when you talk about the kinds of numbers that you're talking about, it takes a number of years to replace those supplies, to bring new supplies on. And it would certainly take a number of years on scale to be changing out crude oil for something else.

CHARLES GIBSON: John McCain, for his part -- it's become a mantra for him: Drill now, drill here, drill immediately. Is that any kind of a solution?

REX TILLERSON: Well, it's part of a solution. Again, I think this whole debate around someone looking for the solution is not a sensible approach. As I've pointed out, we really have to attack this problem from both sides, emphasize energy efficiency to reduce our demand, or certainly reduce the growth of our demand. And we've been very good at that in this country. Our energy intensity for GDP of output is really quite efficient. And we have a track record of continuing to improve that. And we should continue to emphasize that in the future.

And then, on the supply side, we really should be developing all the supplies that are available to us regardless of whether they come on tomorrow or they come on 10 years from now. They're going to be important, because we're going to continue to need those.

CHARLES GIBSON: T. Boone Pickens is a fellow who made a considerable dollar in your business. He says this is not a problem in any way that we can drill our way out of. Correct?

REX TILLERSON: I would agree with that. We can't drill our way out of this problem, just like we can't conserve our way out of this problem, just like we can't alternative fuels our way out of this problem. And that's my point, Charlie. There is no one solution to this. There's an integrative set of solutions. And you have to undertake them all. So when the whole debate focuses around we have to choose this one solution or that, people are missing the point. The problem is too large. It's just too enormous for a single solution to provide the answer. And we really have to put in place steps to pursue all of the options available to us, because we're going to have to have all of the options in the end.

CHARLES GIBSON: Let me stay in the political realm for a moment, come back to Sen. Obama. He's calling for a windfall profits tax, $65 billion, five years. Oil companies, in his plan, pay it. And when the public sees the kind of profits that the oil companies are making, and ExxonMobil in particular, and when they see the size of the stock buybacks, isn't it fair that they wonder why not?

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