Exxon Mobil

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ExxonMobil
Founded 1870 as Standard Oil
Founder(s) John D. Rockefeller
Industry Gas & Oil
Products Fuels: Gasoline, Diesel, Heating Oil, Kerosene, Aviation, Marine; Lubricants: Commercial, Aviation, Marine, Personal; Synthetics
Website http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/ & http://www.mobil.com.co/Colombia-Spanish/LCW/Homepage.asp

Exxon Mobil is the world's largest oil company and one of the world's largest publicly traded companies. It is involved in oil and gas exploration, production, supply, transportation, and marketing around the world. In 2010 it reported proved reserves of 24.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Exxon Mobil's refineries have a capacity of more than 6 million barrels per day, and the company supplies refined products to more than 40,000 service stations in 100 countries that operate under the Exxon, Esso, and Mobil brands (including more than 16,000 in the US)." [1]

Exxon Mobil's CEO, Rex Tillerson, made $22.4 million in 2009.[2]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Exxon Mobil is a longtime member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Randy Smith, Exxon Mobil Government Affairs Manager, represents Exxon Mobil on ALEC's corporate ("Private Enterprise") board as of 2011.[3] (Smith also sits on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission that considers the impact of oil drilling through the practice known as "fracking." [4])

A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


It was a "Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $50,000.[5]

Kevin Murphy, a public affairs executive, also represented Exxon on ALEC's corporate ("Private Enterprise") board in 2011.

Exxon Mobil has contributed nearly $1.5 million dollars to ALEC since 1998:

  • $15,000 in 1998
  • $70,000 in 2000
  • $80,000 in 2001
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $50,000 for ALEC's annual conference, $110,000 for general operating support, $5,000 for membership, $25,000 for project support and $3,200 for miscellaneous reasons in 2002. [6]
  • $290,000 in 2003
  • $222,000 in 2004
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $90,000 for ALEC's annual conference, $80,000 for in 2005 for Energy Sustainability Project, and $71,000 for general operating support. The amount totaled to $241,000 in 2005. [7]
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $15,000 for ALEC's annual meeting, $31,000 for annual meeting sponsorship, $10,000 for general support, and $30,000 for undisclosed use. The amount totaled to $86,000 in 2006. [8]
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $31,000 for undisclosed use in 2007. [9]
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $15,000 for ALEC's annual conference, $31,00 for general support, and $10,000 for public support. The amount totaled to $56,00 in 2008. [10]
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $15,000 for ALEC's annual conference, $31,000 for general support, and $1,500 for undisclosed use. The amount totaled $47,500 in 2009.[11]
  • Exxon Mobil contributed $25,000 to the National Chairman's Reception, and $39,000 for General Support. The amount totaled to $64,000 in 2010. [12]

These contributions came in the form of membership dues, conference sponsorship, and general operating support, as well as funding for specific projects like the "Energy Sustainability Project."

ALEC has issued "model legislation" or resolutions denying climate change, promoting climate change denial in schools, and supporting offshore drilling, among other bills.

Exxon's Net Income vs. Number of Employees

On September 22, 2011, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow commented on the growth of the Koch brothers' fortune, noting that, rather than being "job creators," as their fortune has risen since 2007, the number of people employed by Koch Industries has fallen. She then commented that Exxon Mobil's net income growth has also been inversely related to its number of employees. She showed the following chart of Exxon's net income vs. number of employees from 2005 to 2008:[13]

Exxon Income vs Employment.jpeg

Exxon's funding of climate skeptics

Through 2005, under Lee Raymond

A study by the US Union of Concerned Scientists reports that ExxonMobil funded 29 climate change denial groups in 2004 alone. Since 1990, the report says, the company has spent more than $19 million funding groups that promote their views through publications and Web sites that are not peer reviewed by the scientific community. [http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2612021&page=1

See exxonsecrets.org for fact-sheets on funding recipients.

Between 1995 and 2005, Exxon Mobil spent $16 million to "bankroll more than 40 groups to quell the claims of global warming." [14]

During 2002, ExxonMobil donated $5.6 million to public policy organizations which share its agenda, either on climate change denial or general extreme free market advocacy. These included: [2]

2006 and beyond

In October 2006, two US Senators, Olympia Snowe, (R-Maine), and Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.) wrote to ExxonMobil's chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson, asking that it "end any further financial assistance" to groups "whose public advocacy has contributed to the small but unfortunately effective climate change denial myth." The Senators singled out the Competitive Enterprise Institute and TechCentralStation as such groups. They wrote that "we are convinced that ExxonMobil's long-standing support of a small cadre of global climate change skeptics, and those skeptics' access to and influence on government policymakers, have made it increasingly difficult for the United States to demonstrate the moral clarity it needs across all facets of its diplomacy". [3]

Skeptic funding cut back under Rex Tillerson

"Exxon will not contribute to some nine groups in 2008 that it funded in 2007...The groups Exxon has stopped funding include the Capital Research Center, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research...

Exxon's public tone on climate change has softened since Tillerson took the reins of the company at the beginning of 2006, replacing the often-combative Lee Raymond. Tillerson has said that nations should work toward a global policy to fight climate change and in 2006 [and again in 2007] the company stopped funding a handful of groups that were climate change skeptics.

[15]
Or not...

But Exxon continued to fund a further 28 groups which campaigned against climate science. And the Center for Science in the public Interest stated in June 2008, "Each group continued to receive Exxon funding in 2007 after the company’s first announcement that it would discontinue the payments. Exxon did not immediately return calls seeking comment on how serious it was in following through on its plans." [16].

In 2011, the Global Warming Policy Foundation's website ran the headline "900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of 'Man-Made' Global Warming (AGW) Alarm," listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute "concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic." However, a preliminary data analysis by the Carbon Brief revealed that nine of the ten most prolific authors cited have links to organisations funded by ExxonMobil, and the tenth has co-authored several papers with Exxon-funded contributors. The top ten contributors alone were responsible for 186 of the papers (over 20%) cited by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.[17]

Dr Sherwood Idso was the most cited academic on the list, having authored or co-authored 67 of the 938 papers, seven percent of the total. Idso is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a thinktank which has been funded by ExxonMobil. Idso has also been linked to the Information Council on the Environment ( ICE ), an energy industry PR campaign accused of "astroturfing". The second most cited is Dr Patrick Michaels - with 28 papers to his name. Michaels is a well known climate sceptic who has revealed that he receives around 40% of his funding from the oil industry. Third most cited is Agricultural scientist Dr Bruce Kimball - the list shows that all of his cited papers were co-authored with Dr Sherwood B Idso.[17]

Also included was Willie Soon, a senior scientist at the Exxon funded George C Marshall institute, and John Christy, also a Marshall Institute "expert." Ross McKitrick is a senior fellow at the Exxon funded Fraser institute and on the academic advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Dr Indur Goklany is affiliated with the Exxon Funded thinktank the International Policy Network (US). Sallie Baliunas is listed by the Union of Concerned Scientists as being affiliated with nine different organisations who have all received funding from ExxonMobil, including the George C Marshall Institute. Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist and prominent sceptic, is a member of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, which has also received Exxon funding. The final name in the top 10 contributors - David Douglass - has written several papers with Singer, Christie and Michaels - six of the fifteen papers he authored on the list were written with Michaels, Singer or Christie.[17]

2009+: Lobbying expenditures continue

In 2009, Exxon Mobil spent $27.5 million in lobbying against global warming, which is their second highest year on the books after 2008 election year. [18] Odwyer's Magazine describes Exxon's efforts as misleading: "ExxonMobil, absurdly praised in August by Forbes as “green company of the year,” was discovered the same month by the New York Times to have given major funding to industry groups like the now-defunct Global Climate Coalition, an organization that had silenced its own scientific reports and falsified information for more than a decade." [19]

In 2010, the Walkley Foundation, the professional development arm of Australia's media union the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, chose Exxon Mobil as the Gold sponsor for its August 2010 annual conference. In July, there were reports on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's PM program and News Corporation's The Australian[4] that Exxon Mobil had broken its pledge not to fund climate skeptics. The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) opposed the sponsorship and began a public petition [5] signed by journalists, environmentalists and academics asking the union to reconsider their agreement.

Exxon's Tiger PR

Recognizing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington, in mid-July 2005 ExxonMobil ran a quarter-page ad on the op-ed page of New York Times headlined "Saving Tigers." [6] According to Exxon's website, the company has given more than $9 million since 1995 to efforts to save endangered tigers. Exxon has claimed the tiger as its brand mascot since the 1930s. While "preserving the endangered Bengal tiger" did make its way in to an early State Department press release on the summit, India's nuclear industry, the global war on terrorism and foreign investment in India were the dominate themes of the meeting. The agreement to help India further develop its nuclear energy capacity is part of a larger U.S.-India Energy Dialogue that also includes an Oil and Gas Working Group that "will endeavor to strengthen mutual energy security and promote stable energy markets." Several NGOs have targeted ExxonMobil, criticizing the company for violating human rights and destroying the environment.

Exxon tries to explain their profits

After enjoying the largest profits of any company ever in recent years [7], Exxon Mobil has the resources -- and the need -- for expanded PR. The new campaign will "educate consumers and media about the inner workings of the oil industry, and the costs of producing, shipping, and refining crude," reports PR Week. It will include "PR, advertising, and media tours," as well as opinion pieces and meetings with editorial boards, including with regional and local media. Exxon will also give its "Energy Outlook" talk "at college campuses, high schools, and to academics." [8]

According to PR Week, "while Exxon works with a number of PR firms, including Weber Shandwick," the new campaign is "entirely in-house." After earning a record-breaking $36.1 billion last year, Exxon wants to avoid backlash from consumers angry about high gas prices and weaken support for the Windfall Profits Tax proposals before Congress. [9]

While no doubt there are many factors involved in the escalating price of gas, Exxon's public relations ploy of deflecting any attention away from Big Oil's role seems to be working. A recent Gallup Poll suggests that, "Ironically, the intensity with which Americans see oil companies as "gas price villains" may be fading a little, according to opinions respondents volunteered in a new Gallup Poll, conducted May 19-21. Over the past year, the percentage of Americans blaming the oil companies for skyrocketing gas prices fell from 34% to 20%; the percentage pointing to oil refinery problems fell from 16% to 9%; and those attributing the increase in prices to problems in the Middle East and the Iraq war fell from 13% to 8%. On the other hand, the percentage of Americans suggesting prices are increasing as a result of the economic forces of supply and demand increased from 10% to 15%, while 6% now point to speculators and 4% to the shrinking value of the dollar and the poor U.S. economy -- both new reasons not even mentioned a year ago. More Americans also mention crude oil prices, the shortage of oil supplies, and U.S. dependency on foreign oil" [10].

ExxonMobil and fracking

ExxonMobil bought unconventional gas producer XTO Energy in 2009 and the companies merged in 2010.[20] By 2012, ExxonMobil was the largest gas producer in the U.S. CEO Rex Tillerson is a vocal support of accessing shale gas through fracking and is against federal regulation of the practice. Tillerson told Fortune that "The assertions that our [fracking] opponents make — why don't you ask them to produce some facts, produce something? I mean, prove it."[21]

Exxon's XTO is a funder of Energy in Depth (EID), a pro-oil-and-gas drilling industry front group formed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and dozens of additional industry organizations for the purpose of denouncing legislation proposed by Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette to regulate underground hydraulic fracturing fluids.[22]

Ad boycott against Air America Radio

ExxonMobil refused to advertise on the progressive Air America Radio. In October 2006, around 90 companies, including ExxonMobil, told ABC Radio Networks that they did not want their ads to play on radio stations that carried Air America Radio. [23] [24] [25]

Political contributions

Open Secrets reports that during the 2010 campaign season, ExxonMobil gave $1,274,762 to federal candidates: $132,970 to Democrats and $1.13 million to Republicans.

The ExxonMobil political action committee (PAC) contributed $698,450 to federal candidates in the 05/06 election cycle - 7% to Democrats and 93% to Republicans. [26]

Lobbying

Exxon is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. In 2010, ExxonMobil spent $12.5 million on lobbying.[27] You can see a list of current lobbyists working for ExxonMobil HERE. There is also a list of the bills ExxonMobil has lobbied for in the past five years HERE.


These contributions total $676,177 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. John Cornyn (R-TX) for $46,000. Rep. Cornyn, for his part, has consistently voted with the oil industry on energy, war and climate bills.[11]

Contributions like this from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.

The company spent $14,520,000 for lobbying in 2006. Of this total, $1,055,000 was spent using outside lobbying firms, two of which included Nickles Group and DCI Group. [28]

More information on oil industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheOilMoney.org, a project created by the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Oil Change International.

Corporate Accountability

Labor

Human Rights

March 2005: “Pumping Poverty- Britain’s Department for International Development and the Oil Industry”
The author discusses the problems with ExxonMobil, especially the human rights problems with the Chad-Cameroon oil project and pipeline. [12] & [13]

John Doe I v. ExxonMobil, Case No. 01CV01357 (filed D.D.C. 2001).
Plaintiffs in Indonesia allege that they suffered human rights violations at the hands of Indonesian military that was hired by ExxonMobil to provide security for its natural gas facilities. Plaintiffs allege that ExxonMobil hired these troops knowing they would likely engage in massive human rights violations against the local population, and that all of the claims date from 2001, well after ExxonMobil had specific knowledge of massive human rights violations and could have changed their practices. Motion to dismiss is pending. "A Report about the Alien Tort Claims Act" & "U.S./Indonesia: Bush Backtracks on Corporate Responsibility" & "John Doe v. ExxonMobil Corp. Case" & "Doe v. ExxonMobil Corp."

Special Issues and Campaigns: World Report 1999
The joint venture of the United States-based Exxon, the French Elf Aquitaine, and Netherlands-based Royal Dutch/Shell which is constructing the $4 billion Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline was criticized throughout the year because of allegations of corruption and its detrimental effects on the environment and human rights. [14]

Environment

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska
March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez, ran aground on the Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tanker spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon crude oil cargo. This oil spill would eventually impact over 1,100 miles of Alaska's coastline, making the Exxon Valdez the largest oil spill to date in U.S. waters. [29]

Consumer Protection and Product Safety

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Personnel

Key executives and 2006 pay:

[30]

  • Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: $29 million[31]
  • Donald D. Humphreys, Principal Financial Officer and Vice President: $13.6 million[32]
  • H. R. Cramer, Vice President and President of ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company: $9.2[33]
  • J. Stephen Simon, Former Senior Vice President
  • Neil W. Duffin, President of ExxonMobil Development Company
  • R. S. Franklin, Vice President and President of ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures
  • Sherman J. Glass Jr., Vice President and President of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company
  • Stephen M. Greenlee, Vice President and President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company
  • Alan J. Kelly, Vice President, President of Exxonmobil Lubricants and Petroleum Specialties Company
  • B. W. Milton, President of ExxonMobil Global Services Company
  • Richard M. Kruger, Vice President and President of ExxonMobil Production Company

Selected board members: [34]

Other Personnel

Contact details

5959 Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75039-2298
Phone: (972) 444-1000
Fax: (972) 444-1350
Web: http://www2.exxonmobil.com/corporate/

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch resources

Profiles and campaigns

External Articles

References

  1. Hoovers, Exxon Mobil Corporation profile, accessed July 8, 2011.
  2. Exxon Mobil CEO’s salary hits $22.4M,"Bizjournals.com." April 13, 2009.
  3. Private Enterprise Board, ALEC website, accessed July 8, 2011.
  4. Eric Boehm, Marcellus shale commission will not consider severance tax
  5. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  6. Public Information and Policy Research, FactCheck.org, accessed November 18, 2011
  7. Public Information and Policy Research: 2005 Worldwide Giving Report
  8. Public Information and Policy research, [1] accessed November 17, 2011
  9. Exxon Mobil Corporation 2007 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments, Green Peace USA, accessed November 17, 2011
  10. [http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/files/gcr_contributions_public_policy08.pdf Exxon Mobil Corporation 2008 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments], {http://www.exxonmobil.com Exxon Mobil], accessed November 17, 2011
  11. [http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/files/gcr_contributions_pub-policy09.pdf Exxon Mobil Corporation 2009 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments], Exxon Mobil, accessed November 17, 2011
  12. [http://exxonmobil.com/Corporate/Files/gcr_contributions_pubpolicy-2010.pdf Exxon Mobil Corporation 2010 Contributions and Community Investments], Exxon Mobil, accessed November 17, 2011
  13. Will Fernia, The Koch brothers graph, The Maddow Blog, MSNBC" show blog, September 23, 2011
  14. "The Politics of Climate Change", Odwyer's Magazine, Feb. 2010.
  15. Exxon again cuts funds for climate change skeptics. Reuters (2008-03-23). Retrieved on 2011-03-31.
  16. "Exxon Announces Cutoff for Warming Skeptics--Again", Integrity in Science, June 2, 2008.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Analysing the ‘900 papers supporting climate scepticism’: 9 out of top 10 authors linked to ExxonMobil" The Carbon Brief, April 15, 2011.
  18. "The Politics of Climate Change", Odwyer's Magazine, Feb. 2010.
  19. "The Politics of Climate Change", Odwyer's Magazine, Feb. 2010.
  20. "ExxonMobil and XTO complete merger", NHST Media Group (2010-06-25). Retrieved on 2010-06-27. 
  21. Andrew Restuccia, "Exxon CEO to ‘fracking’ critics: ‘Prove it,’" The Hill, April 16, 2012.
  22. Alexandra Kougentakis, Brad Johnson What The Frack? Gas Industry’s Multimillion-Dollar Campaign Demonizes Hydraulic Fracturing Bill, Think Progress; The Wonk Room. June 12, 2009
  23. Marc Fisher, "Air America, in the Throes of Victory?", The Washington Post, December 10, 2006.
  24. "Air America on Ad Blacklist?", FAIR, October 31, 2006.
  25. "Air America Blackout", FAIR.org/ABC memo, October 25, 2006.
  26. PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed October 2007.
  27. Lobbying Information for ExxonMobil, "Open Secrets.org"
  28. ExxonMobil lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed October 2007.
  29. Culter J. Cleveland, "Exxon Valdez Oil Spill", The Encyclopedia of the Earth, April 22, 2008.
  30. Exxon Mobil Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed October 2007.
  31. ExxonMobil Executives, "Businessweek"
  32. ExxonMobil Executives, "Businessweek"
  33. ExxonMobil Executives, "Businessweek"
  34. Board of Directors, ExxonMobil, accessed August 2007.

Oil Change International