March 24, 2016

SEC Ruling and Rockefeller Divestment Put Exxon Under Pressure

New York — With the Rockefeller’s divesting, Attorneys General investigating, and the SEC regulating, ExxonMobil is coming under increasing pressure over climate change.

“For decades, Exxon has done everything in its power to cover up the impact climate change would have on its business and the planet–those chickens are finally coming home to roost,” said Jamie Henn, Communications Director for “Exxon is increasingly caught in its own web of deception. Instead of addressing climate change when they first found out about it decades ago, the company has aggressively pursued a business path that is incompatible with a livable planet. That’s opened them up to divestment, regulation, and now, potential prosecution.”

On Wednesday, the Rockefeller Family Fund divested from Exxon, calling the company “morally reprehensible.” The Rockefeller’s have been increasingly showing their disgust with the “family company” over its role in blocking climate action.

“This is a marquee win,” said Henn. “The Rockefeller’s divesting from Exxon is like the Walton’s divesting from WalMart: you know the company has seriously gone down the wrong path. This will amplify calls to divest from Exxon all across the country.”

Later that day, the Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that Exxon must hold a vote on a shareholder resolution calling on the company to disclose the risk climate change and possible climate regulations pose to their business, calling the company’s previous disclosures “inadequate.” Exxon has repeatedly blocked such a resolution in the past.

“Exxon hasn’t properly disclosed its climate risk because it knows that its current business model is incompatible with climate action. Instead of helping the world transition to renewable energy, Exxon is spending hundreds of millions of dollars looking for new hydrocarbons,” said Henn. “This year’s climate resolution should be seen as a last ditch effort by shareholder advocates. If Exxon doesn’t show how it plans to adapt its business to a carbon constrained world, it’s time for shareholders to divest. There’s no other responsible option.”