Friday, March 25, 2016

Rockefeller Ditches/Slams Exxon -

A body blow for Big Fossil. A one-two combination has Exxon reeling. The first was a punch to the gut from the Rockefellers. Then came the uppercut to the chin from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

...the Rockefeller Family Fund announced it would divest from the oil giant, saying it would “eliminate holdings" of Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM.N) “effective immediately,” asserting that the company associated with the family fortune has misled the public about the risks of climate change.

Because of the long-established threat posed to the planetary ecosystem by fossil fuel extraction and use, the fund said “there is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons.”

In a letter posted on its website, the fund slammed Exxon's conduct as "morally reprehensible." They write:
"Evidence appears to suggest that the company worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change’s march, while simultaneously spending millions to fortify its own infrastructure against climate change’s destructive consequences and track new exploration opportunities as the Arctic’s ice receded."

Exxon tried to frame the fund’s move as unsurprising. In a statement, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said, "The Rockefeller Family Fund provided financial support to InsideClimate News and Columbia University Journalism School which produced inaccurate and deliberately misleading stories about ExxonMobil's history of climate research.”

But Stacy Feldman, executive editor of InsideClimate News, stands by those stories. "Exxon has never specified what is inaccurate or misleading in the series, nor has it requested any corrections," she said in a statement. "But our investigation of Exxon's climate duplicity has won five national journalism awards."

The day would only get worse for the multinational energy firm, as the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered a vote on a shareholder resolution that would require the firm to disclose how climate change—or regulations meant to combat it—would impact the stability of the company’s finances. 
The SEC’s move comes just weeks after an investigation by the Government Accountability Project, which revealed that, for years, Exxon had lied to the SEC in its 10-K filings.

Exxon has done a masterful job of hedging its bets, both by omission and commission: omitting mere mention for many years, and then grossly understating, the vast array of direct and indirect risks it faces as a result of climate change,” said Climate Science & Policy Watch, a GAP program that promotes governmental integrity in the use of climate science. “Even worse, Exxon has overtly and flagrantly overstated possible financial and economic risks associated with regulating carbon and other GHGs, both here in the U.S. and in nations around the world."

Let Exxon be the steer leading the Big Fossil herd to the regulatory and investment abattoir floor. Take the big ones down first and the rest will follow.

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