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Exxon's chief calls for stable U.S. energy policy

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Rapid-fire U.S. energy policy changes are not promoting energy security, Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp's XOM.N chief executive, said on Friday as he called for the United States to focus on boosting its domestic supplies.

Speaking at a business roundtable at the Spruce Meadows equestrian facility south of Calgary, Tillerson said U.S. policy makers need a long-term view if the world’s largest energy consumer is to ensure secure supplies.

Tillerson said the 2005 U.S. energy policy was designed to improve the oil industry’s access to domestic resources. However, he said, new policies being pushed through Congress will reverse that position and make acquiring new reserves more difficult.

“Square that with energy security for me and you’re a smarter person than I am,” Tillerson said.

Policies to encourage alternative fuels, carbon capture and sequestration, and to improve energy supply take a decade or more to bear fruit, he told the business audience, a span well beyond the electoral cycles of a president, senator or a representative.

If energy policies are to work, the U.S. government must commit to a stable policy framework and not change positions with every election.

“Policy has to be durable and the U.S. government has to be committed to put that policy in place and let it play out,” he said. “We’ve never been able to do that. We put it in place and two years later we change it.”

The U.S. needs to loosen access to supplies within its borders because of changing international energy politics, Tillerson said. Higher oil prices, nationalist pressures in oil-exporting nations and the rise of national oil companies restricting access to new reserves, and mixing energy and foreign policy no longer works.

“Our energy policy has been to use our foreign policy to tell everybody else to develop all your natural resources and send them to us at a low price and we’re just going to not bother with ours,” he said. “That’s been the U.S. energy policy for the last 25 years and now that’s come to the end of the string.”

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