Exxon shareholders get mad

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As reported in today’s Guardian, criticism of Exxon Mobil continued today as insurance giant CIS protested the re-appointment of Exxon’s boss, Lee Raymond. CIS, which owns $25 million worth of Exxon shares, takes issue with the company’s handling of climate change, arguing that Raymond has not only guided Exxon to downplay the significance of global warming, but has also lobbied the U.S. Government against signing the Kyoto treaty.

Meanwhile, Social investment group Claris Consulting has also claimed that unlike some of its competitors, including BP and Shell, Exxon doesn’t factor in carbon trading in its financial decision making, which may put it at a competitive disadvantage if carbon-trading programs around the world start taking off. Nor, say other critics, does Exxon disclose greenhouse risks to its investors, as many of its competitors do.

According to the Financial Times, at a shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Raymond dismissed efforts to press the board to make data relevant to Exxon’s position on climate change available, as well as to report on how Exxon plans to meet reduction targets in those countries in which it operates where Kyoto has been adopted.

Shareholders proceeded to berate him for relying on “junk science” to support his position on climate change. His response? “Frankly, I think this company is a leader in climate science.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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