White House praise of Exxon's $20bn investment ripped from company's press release

White House praise of Exxon's $20bn investment ripped from company's press release
The world’s biggest oil explorer says it is set to invest $20 billion in the US Gulf Coast region, creating thousands of jobs. The White House said the exact same thing, as it plagiarized ExxonMobil’s statement.

On Monday, Exxon Mobil announced it would be expanding its manufacturing capacity at 11 new and existing sites in Texas and Louisiana as a part of its Growing the Gulf initiative. With a $20 billion investment, they are expected to create 35,000 temporary construction jobs and 12,000 full-time positions in the region. 

Half an hour after Exxon made the announcement, the White House also released a statement, praising the initiative. 

This is exactly the kind of investment, economic development and job creation that will help put Americans back to work,” Trump said in a statement released Monday. 

“Many of the products that will be manufactured here in the United States by American workers will be exported to other countries, improving our balance of trade. This is a true American success story,” Trump said. 

The White House statement appears to have nearly identical wording as the Exxon statement for at least one paragraph, leading many on Twitter to ask if the statement from the White House copied Exxon’s statement.

The paragraph in question from Exxon’s statement, reads: “ExxonMobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the US Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf expansion program, consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

The statement from the White House is identical, except for a comma and US to United States change: “Exxon Mobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the United States Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf program consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

CEO Darren Woods introduced the initiative at the annual CERAWeek conference in Houston, the world's largest gathering of energy executives. Woods ran Exxon's refining division before replacing Rex Tillerson, who has since left to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

The announcement comes after Woods said that the company plans to spend 50 percent of their worldwide drilling budget on shale operations next year, including $5.5 billion to drill wells in the US Permian shale region in Texas.

"Exxon Mobil is building a manufacturing powerhouse along the U.S. Gulf Coast," Woods said in his speech, according to Reuters. "These businesses are leveraging the shale revolution to manufacture cleaner fuels and more energy-efficient plastics."

The company says most of the investments in the Gulf region will go toward plants that make plastics and other chemicals for the growing consumer markets in Asia and elsewhere. 

In a press release following his speech at CERAWeek, Woods said that the overseas markets were the motivation behind the investments. 

The supply is here; the demand is there. We want to keep connecting those dots,” Woods said.

The company said the investment, which began in 2013, is expected to continue through 2022, will create high-skilled, high-paying jobs with salaries ranging between $75,000 and $125,000 a year. Woods said that the influx of thousands of jobs will have a multiplier effect, creating even more jobs in the region to accommodate the new plants.