Derr had served as the vice chairman starting in 1985, where he was responsible for the firm's domestic operations. He had earlier spent a year and a half charged with responsibility for implementing the merger of Chevron and Gulf Oil after the firm purchased Gulf in 1984. In August 1988, Chevron named Derr as chairman to succeed George M. Keller, who would be reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. Keller was to leave office as of January 1, 1989.
I believe we have an obligation to use our technology to minimize the environmental impact of our operations and our products. What disturbs me is not the ever-present and perfectly valid public requirements for health and safety in the use of energy. Rather I'm distressed by a growing public conviction that oil does not . . . and can not . . . meet those requirements. 
A 1991 poll showed that 74 percent of Americans think the greenhouse effect is a problem. And 41 percent believe it's a serious problem. Some people in our industry tend to simply wave the issue away by saying that the threat is unproven. That's true; but it's not an appropriate response.