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Exxon CEO says climate, energy fears overblown

NEW YORK — ExxonMobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson says fears about climate change, drilling and energy dependence are overblown and society’s ability to adapt is underestimated.

Mr. Tillerson blamed a public that is “illiterate” in science and math, a “lazy” press, and advocacy groups that “manufacture fear” for energy misconceptions in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He noted that huge discoveries of oil and gas in North America have reversed a 20-year decline in U.S. oil production in recent years.

In a break with predecessor Lee Raymond, Mr. Tillerson has acknowledged that global temperatures are rising. “Clearly there is going to be an impact,” he said Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

COMMODITIES

Wheat prices climb as heat takes toll on crops

Wheat prices are closing higher as the hot, dry summer continues to take its toll on crops in the U.S. and Russia.

Wheat rose 42.5 cents to settle at $7.5125 per bushel Wednesday, the highest closing price since September. Corn also posted gains.

Global supplies of wheat remain plentiful but traders are concerned that the heat wave may cause the quality of the crops to deteriorate in the Midwest and parts of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The sizzling summer also has pushed up prices for corn. Crops in the Midwest could be damaged by the heat and lack of rainfall because they are pollinating.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports