04-30-08 by simpson
What’s known as America’s First Family of Oil, the Rockefellers, wants Exxon Mobil, the oil giant descended from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, to change it is ways. They’re worried the company doesn’t care enough about the environment or developing alternative energy.
Forbes quoted Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, a great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller: "The truth is that Exxon Mobil is profiting in the short term from investments and decisions made many years ago, and by focusing on a narrow path that ignores the rapidly shifting energy landscape around the world, including developing nations."
The Rockefellers are backing four shareholder resolutions that will be voted on at the company’s annual meeting May 28. They held a news conference in New York Today to support the resoultions that would require Exxon to:
- Reduce greenhouse gases from operations and products.
- Establish a task force to study the effects of global warming.
- Adopt a renewable energy policy.
- Require that the position of chief executive and chairman be held by different people. Currently Rex Tillerson holds both jobs.
According to Reuters, Goodwin, a Tufts University economist, called on Exxon to reconnect with the forward-looking vision of her great grandfather.
"Kerosene was the alternative energy of its day," Goodwin said. "Part of John D. Rockefeller’s genius was in recognizing early the need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner fuel."
It’s certainly true that under Tillerson, Exxon has focused almost single-mindedly on oil. An outside chairman just might bring a new perspective.
And unlike many good shareholder resolutions this one may have a shot at passing. Last year it received 40 percent of the vote and that was without the public endorsement by the Rockefellers. Sadly if it does win shareholder approval, nothing may change. The resolution is advisory and the board can do whatever it wants.