Its not appropriate to compare energy stocks to tobacco, Chevron CEO says

  • As energy stocks come under fire, Chevron chairman and CEO Michael Wirth said a comparison to the tobacco industry is “not appropriate” given the role oil plays in society.
  • Wirth said that “it’s still early” to determine how much of an impact the coronavirus outbreak, which has pressured oil prices, will have on the company’s bottom line.
  • Oil is heading for a fifth straight week of losses as traders fear that the outbreak will lead to an economic slowdown and therefore a decrease in oil demand.

Traditional energy stocks have come under fire as the sustainable investing movement gains traction, but Chevron chairman and CEO Michael Wirth said it’s unfair to compare the sector to other oft-maligned areas of the market given the role oil production has played in societal development.

“The reality is the world runs on the energy system that we have today,” Wirth said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from Pebble Beach, California. “I think the comparison to tobacco is not an appropriate one at all. If tobacco use were ceased today, I think the world would be just fine. If we ceased use of all hydrocarbon products today, the world would not be fine, and I think that’s the reality.”


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