Hundreds of protestors and shareholder activists showed up at Exxon's shareholder meeting to demand the company be held accountable for their lies and misdirection on climate change. Exxon's CEO told the press, "the world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether [you] like it or not." Sign here to demand our top law enforcement officials prosecute Exxon.
Exxon just faced their toughest shareholder meeting ever. Our allies inside the meeting, and outside on the streets, demanded accountability for Exxon's decades long campaign to mislead, obfuscate and confuse the public and our lawmakers about climate science -- and they demanded that Exxon and their Big Oil buddies change their ways and divest from killing our planet.1
Inside, shareholder activists voted on a series of resolutions holding Exxon Accountable. While outside, activists rallied in the streets to raise awareness about what #ExxonKnew about climate change and when they knew.2 They were joined by experienced investors like the New York City comptroller and by the grand-daughter of one of the Exxon scientists who first told senior management about greenhouse gases in the 1970s.3
Confronted with the firestorm of public outrage, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson was defiant until the end: In response to a direct question about climate change and our #KeepitintheGround movement, Tillerson said the "world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not."4
Enough! The one thing Exxon can't ignore, brush off, or ban from their meetings is a subpoena from the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General from across the country. Tillerson knows that, and that's why he wouldn't comment on the ongoing investigations in several states today. Show him that the climate movement will not be silenced. Sign here to demand your State Attorney General, and ALL Attorneys General investigate Exxon.
Shareholder activists, lead by the New York City comptroller, won a measure to elect climate change advocates to the Exxon's board. But we lost votes on several other proposals designed to force the Oil Goliath into taking aggressive action against climate change at the their annual shareholder meeting. Those included a proposal to install a climate expert on the board, detail lobbying efforts to obstruct climate action, establish a policy to limit the planet's warming to a few degrees, report on the impacts of climate change and report on the the effects of fracking.5
But as our friend Bill McKibben said, "it’s time to admit the obvious: the Exxons of the world are not going to change their stripes, not voluntarily."6 As if to underline that point, Exxon even tried to bar journalists from covering the shareholders meeting who they accused of having a "lack of objectivity on climate change reporting demonstrated by its partnership with anti-oil and gas activists."7
One thing is clear after today's action: Exxon is not backing down. They're going to continue to lie about climate change, disparage our friends, and worst of all look for, dig up and burn every last bit of fossil fuel they can. That means we have to rise up. Right now, our strongest weapon against Exxon is the power of our State Attorneys General -- and you can help make a difference no matter where you live. Just this afternoon a coalition of activists delivered signatures to Io Attorney General Tom Miller.8 No state is too red or conservative when it comes to justice, and there's too much at stake for our climate, planet and future generations to fail to act now.
Stand with us, and the whole keep it in the ground movement today and call on your Attorney General, and ALL Attorneys General to Arrest Exxon.
Drew and the ExxonKnew crew at Environmental Action
1 - Ernest Scheyder and Terry Wade, Climate change takes center stage at Exxon, Chevron annual meetings, Reuters, May 25, 2016
2 - ExxonKnew.org, May 25th: Dallas, Texas, Exxon Knew Divest from Deception Rally, May 25, 2016
3 - Claudia Black-Kalinsky, My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn't listen, The Guardian, May 25, 2016
4 - Collin Eaton, Exxon investors clear path for climate expert on board, defeat other resolutions, Houston Chronicle, May 25, 2016
5 - Andrew Restuccia, Exxon shareholder vote eases path to put activists on board, Politico, May 25, 2016
6 - Bill McKibben, Let's give up the climate change charade: Exxon won't change its stripes, The Guardian, May 20, 2016
7 - Nils Pratley, Hypersensitive Exxon bans Guardian from AGM, The Guardian, May 25, 2016
8 - Bold Iowa, .@Bold_Iowa & 350 petition to @AGIowa Miller—Investigate Exxon's climate fraud, Twitter, May 25, 2016