REX TILLERSON: Well, I guess the question is what's that going to solve? Are the American people going to be better off from an energy situation because we implement a windfall profits tax? Nowhere in a windfall profits tax do I see anything that addresses the problem. I understand that may be popular with some people because of how they view our current-day profitability. Certainly, again, if you put our profits in perspective, because of our scale and our size, Charlie on a unit-of-sales basis, our profits are way down the list.
And so if we're going to institute, from a philosophic standpoint, a windfall profit on highly successful companies, who generate high profits, you're going to have to go after a lot of other industries and parts of our economy before -- and you'll work your way a long way down the list before you'll come to oil companies as being the most profitable.
CHARLES GIBSON: Well, I'm a -- I'm a guy in a diner in Pennsylvania, and I'm deciding what I feel about this issue. And I see a company that's buying back stock at record levels. And I'm thinking why not have the government take that money?
That's benefiting a lot of stockholders in Exxon, but money comes for an energy rebate, as Obama's talking about, and that presumably benefits everyone.
REX TILLERSON: Well, again, I understand why that's popular, particularly when the energy prices are so high today and a lot of people are struggling with it.
But, again, Charlie, I think the question is are we going to have a serious debate about solving the long-term energy problem, or are we just going to look for short-term solutions again to make everybody feel better?
And I'm very concerned that that's where we've been for so long -- much of our history over the last 25 years, as we've been unwilling as a country to look at the long-term solutions that have to be put in place, recognize that there are no short-term solutions, there are no easy answers in the next three, four, five years, and that what we have to put in place is an energy policy or strategy and then stick with it.
Through election cycle over cycle, we have to stay with it, because it's going to be a 20-year solution.
CHARLES GIBSON: So is it fair to say -- I don't mean to put words in your mouth -- fair to say that you don't think much of either the Obama energy policy or the McCain energy policy?
REX TILLERSON: Well, I think they both have elements of what could be a successful long-term strategy for this country.
But, again, the -- I think the real challenges are we -- are policymakers going to put in place all of the elements, which means that there is no one solution, and so there can be no one winner and one loser -- whether there has to be an accommodation of all of the options that are available, and then put those in place and stick with them through good times and bad times.
CHARLES GIBSON: So in this universal approach that needs to be taken -- the Tillerson policy here -- what's your energy policy been?
REX TILLERSON: Well, first it -- it does -- it starts with a real emphasis on energy efficiency. That's the easiest form of energy to create. The quickest is to use less. And now you've freed up another barrel of oil to be used elsewhere.