The Guardian is reporting that ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson recently promised investors that it plans to “soften” its public image on global warming. But as one person at the meeting noted, Exxon doesn’t actually plan to change its positions:
Chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson made clear to a select group of top Wall Street fund managers and equity analysts that it would not be changing its basic position on global warming – just explain it better. …
A note put out after the meeting by Fadel Gheit, oil analyst at the Oppenheimer brokerage in New York, says the company “has clearly taken a much less adversial and more reconciliatory position on key environmental issues.”
But the note adds: “Although the tone has changed, the substance remains the same.”
The company told the Guardian that its official position on climate change is that greenhouse gas emissions “are one of the factors that contribute to climate change” and despite the “scientific uncertainties, the risk (of global warming) is so great that it justifies taking action.”
Exxon can attempt to soften its language as much as it wants, but its record remains clear. According to a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Exxon has “funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.” The big-oil front group the Competitive Enterprise Institute has received $1.6 million from Exxon since 1998, using the funding to distort global warming research and attack any meaningful action to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.