Activists turn up the heat on ExxonMobil

AUSTIN: A boardroom activist group that opposed investments in South Africa during apartheid has turned its attention to global warming and set its sights on the newly merged ExxonMobil.

AUSTIN: A boardroom activist group that opposed investments in South Africa during apartheid has turned its attention to global warming and set its sights on the newly merged ExxonMobil.

AUSTIN: A boardroom activist group that opposed investments in

South Africa during apartheid has turned its attention to global warming

and set its sights on the newly merged ExxonMobil.



Austin environmental activist Peter Altman last week announced Campaign

ExxonMobil, a grassroots effort aimed at pressuring the world’s largest

public oil company to acknowledge global warming and adjust its

practices accordingly.



The effort began more than two years ago, when the Interfaith Center for

Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) pushed stockholder resolutions on global

warming. Altman, who has led the campaign in recent months, said that

its formal unveiling marks the start of a drive to get more religious

institutions behind the cause.



The ICCR consists of about 275 religious organizations that control

pension fund investments totaling more than dollars 100 billion. The

group is known for championing corporate board resolutions that further

its social goals.



While Exxon shareholders killed an ICCR resolution last year, the

organization plans to submit another version this spring calling for

investments in renewable energy sources.



Exxon spokesman Tom Cirigliano said the company has already received a

’fair number’ of media calls about the campaign. The oil giant responded

with a written statement that acknowledged the potential impact of

carbon dioxide on the climate, but questioned the scientific basis for

predictions of catastrophic consequences.



Cirigliano added that the company may also use its standing ad on The

New York Times’ editorial page to explain its position.



Players on both sides of the conflict blame the opposition for using PR

to muddy the issue. ’I think (our) position has been distorted,’

Cirigliano said. ’We’re just saying, ’Let’s get together and discuss

sound science.’’



It is this stubbornness, according to Sister Pat Daly of the Dominican

Sisters of New Jersey, that makes ExxonMobil a prime target for groups

like the ICCR.



’ExxonMobil is kind of neanderthal,’ she said. ’We felt like we needed

to isolate them because they are absolutely the greatest offenders.’



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.