Clergy vs. ExxonMobil

Naturally, this month’s annual meeting of ExxonMobil shareholders in Dallas was picketed by the requisite environmental activists, giant inflatable-earth-smashed-by-oil-tanker in tow. But this time, protestors were working from the inside, too. According to the DALLAS OBSERVER, the socially responsible Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish clergy members behind the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility control $81 million of ExxonMobil stock. That may be less than .1 percent of the company’s shares, but it’s enough to demand shareholder votes on Center-sponsored resolutions.

At the Dallas meeting, Center activists petitioned the company to increase its investment in renewable energies, such as solar, wind, and biomass power sources. Over six percent of their fellow shareholders agreed, and even more agreed that executive pay should be tied to environmental performance (a slap in the face of chairman Lee Raymond, who still speaks of “so-called global warming”). That’s more than enough to ensure another vote next year, says the coalition, whose more pie-in-the-sky goals include a ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and re-evaluating the controversial Chad-Cameroon pipeline project.