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Climate Heat on Exxon

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Tue, May 13, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Climate Heat on Exxon

    5-13-08 by dugan

    Oh, man, I wish I had a share of Exxon. The shareholder meeting May
    30 is going to be a show. A group of big institutional investors,
    mostly public pension funds, has filed notice that it will formally campaign to oust board member Michael Boskin. The investors say he refused repetedly to
    even meet with them about developing a corporate climate change policy.
    How dumb can a company get, refusing to sit and talk with its biggest
    investors?

    These trillion-dollar investors have been pushing the company
    for a couple of years to develop a climate change policy and make it
    part of Exxon’s business plan. No luck. Now they’ve stepped up the
    action. An SEC filing disclosed today
    by Exxon consists of a letter the investor coalition is sending to
    shareholders, listing the reasons Boskin should be  ousted. 

    The
    group last year announced it would withhold support for the reelection
    of Boskin, who was reelected despite the nonvoters. A resolution
    demanding that Exxon do more on climate change, however, garnered a surprising 31% shareholder vote.

    This year’s communication by the big investors to other shareholders appears to be turning up the heat a substantial notch.

    The
    shareholder letter is in the name of Connecticut state Treasurer Denise
    Nappier, on behalf of other big investors. In the past, the climate
    change group has included California State Teachers Retirement System
    (CalSTRS), the California state employee benefit fund (CalPERS),
    F&C
    Management Ltd., Illinois State Board of Investment, New York City
    Employees Retirement System, New York State Common Retirement Fund, the
    California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina and Vermont
    State Treasurers, labor funds such as SEIU and AFSCME, and a dozen
    other investors.

    This year, the effort to demand a climate change policy at Exxon has been joined by the Rockefeller family,
    descendants  of Standard Oil/ExxonMobil founder John D. Rockefeller. It
    is not clear from the letter whether they are joining the effort to
    oust Boskin. 

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