Exxon Mobil & The Bush Administration

Exxon Mobil & The Bush Administration

As reported earlier in this blog (12/6/06) President Bush has appointed Lee F. Raymond as chairperson of an group to advise the Administration on America’s energy future, including the use of alternative fuels. Mr. Raymond was given the power to hand pick the study’s leadership. His group will provide policy recommendations to the Energy Department about future energy matters including alternative energy as well as issues which deal with this country’s dependence upon fossil fuels. But, by October of this year, its reported that some 60,000 letters have been sent to the Energy Department protesting his appointment.

This is the same Lee F. Raymond who was the CEO of Exxon Mobile corporation who made the news, when he retired, by being paid one of the most generous retirement packages in corporate history. The package involved nearly $400 million dollars in a golden parachute for him. This includes cash, pension payments, stock options, two years of home security, a car plus driver and the use of the corporate jet. But after all, this is the same company that recorded earnings of $4.15 billion, the highest quarterly profit ever recorded by a U.S. company and then went on to increase it’s annual profit to $11.79 billion dollars – another record for a U.S. Company. Last year, this company earned $36 billion dollars, setting a new record amount.

Exxon is the worst of the oil giants This is the company who was responsible for the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill which involved eleven million gallons of oil being washed on the wilderness beaches of Alaska in Prince William Sound. After pleading guilty to breaking environmental laws and paying civil and criminal payments in 1991, it dragged out payment of a $5 billion dollar verdict against it through appeals and has yet to pay the verdict. This is also the same company that was leading the efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But what is not so well known is this corporation’s role over the last decade in undermining any efforts to curb global warming while encouraging continued dependence on oil by the U.S. The company has financed European organizations to cast doubt on the existence of global warming and to Exxon undermine any legal restrictions to curb greenhouse gases. It put it’s money into efforts to criticize the Kyoto Treaty which would impose mandatary limits on carbon dioxide emissions. It’s specifically targeting Europe in these efforts because Europe, not the United States, is the driving force behind efforts to curb global warming. It’s spent enormous amounts of money to create doubt about the need for EU governments to do anything about the green house gas emission problems. While behind scenes opposing responsible efforts regarding issues about global warming and oil dependence, it’s spent huge amounts advertising itself as an environmentally responsible company.

And, who was the CEO of Exxon Mobil when it first began funding groups to undermine the science of global warming? Lee Raymond of course. While CEO he repeatedly criticized renewable energy, made fun of concerns about global oil policies and financed a campaign of doubt about global warming. He led the attempts to influence the issue against any efforts to deal with the greenhouse effect. The hypocrisy of appointing the man who led the opposition to dealing with the problem chairperson of this committee is appalling. Putting this man in charge of solving U.S. energy problems is like putting a the fox in charge of the hen house. But, what it really illustrates is the total arrogance of the Bush administration and the influence of big business upon this administration.

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