Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Breaking: ExxonMobil Breaks Promise; Up Next: Area Coyote Continues Pursuit of Roadrunner

In perhaps the least shocking news we've ever heard, it recently surfaced that despite public promises that it would no longer fund climate change skeptics, ExxonMobil has continued to give money to groups that publicly question and deny the science behind global warming.

If you'd like, now would be the time to let out a fake sigh of indignation and pretend that you were actually surprised.

In its 2008 corporate citizenship report, ExxonMobil promised to cut funding to groups who "divert attention" from the need to address climate change:
In 2008 we will discontinue contributions to several public policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.
Though they did cut funding to a few controversial groups, recent reports show that, in spite of their public statements to the contrary, ExxonMobil has continued to fund climate change skeptics. As the Guardian reported:
Company records show that ExxonMobil handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to such lobby groups in 2008. These include the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas, which received $75,000 (£45,500), and the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, which received $50,000.
Exxon's doublespeak shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone (via The Wonk Room):
Just as ExxonMobil makes public promises to end funding to groups that work to deny climate change, it also has devoted millions to ad campaigns touting clean energy without actually investing significantly in renewable energy. In 2007, Exxon-Mobil spent $100 million on advertising and “green-washing” campaigns in an attempt to exaggerate their commitment to renewable energy, producing ads that focused on global warming, efficiency, and alternative energy. That’s despite the fact that ExxonMobil spent more on CEO Rex Tillerson’s salary than on renewable energy in 2007. While Tillerson took in $21.7 million, Exxon invested only $10 million or so in renewable energy – just a tenth of the amount they spent talking about investing in clean energy.
So remember that 100 bucks you lent Exxon last week so they could pay their rent? Don't count on getting it back. Sure they promised they'd "pay you back right away, we swear," but they clearly don't have the best track record. Chances are the money's already gone anyway, seeing as how Exxon spent over $120 million lobbying Congress between 1998 and 2009.