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The future of energy boils down to the competing visions of a self-styled Technoking and a man so low-profile that Wikipedia isn’t sure which year he was born.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and Darren Woods, his counterpart at ExxonMobil, could hardly be more different. Musk’s symbiosis with the publicity industry drives much of the conversation about Tesla’s electric vehicles and his other ventures, from rockets and neural implants to tunnel-boring machines and the odd flame-thrower. Woods’s most headline-grabbing gesture so far was the time he showed up for an earnings call...

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