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Exxon Mobil shareholders defeat pro environment resolutions news
29 May 2008

For the seventh year in a row the proposal to split the roles of the chief executive and chairman of ExxonMobil, were defeated by a 60-per cent shareholder majority of the world's largest publicly traded oil firm  at the company's annual meeting in Dallas.

Led by descendants of founder John D Rockefeller, who atre currently the single largest shareholder in the oil giant, 39.5 per cent of Exxon's investors supported the call for the appointment of an independent chairman who would initiate the company on a path of action over global warming.

Rockefeller founded The Standard Oil Company, the original forerunner to Exxon Mobil, in 1870.

Rex Tillerson, who has been chairman and CEO since 2006, has led the the oil major to profits of $91 billion in the last two-and-a-quarter years and while he raised its investments in oil and gas projects, his critics ssay he has taken no worthwhile investment initiative on renewable energy.

In 2007 Exxon Mobil, which drills more oil than every OPEC member barring Saudi Arabia and Iran, surpassed its own previous year's top rank figures for record earnings among US corporations, posting $40.6 billion profit. 

Motions to set pollution-reduction target for Exxon Mobil refineries were also defeated, by shareholders who praised the chairman for having made money for the company's shareholders; Exxon's stock value has risen 60 per cent  under Tlllerson's charge, thrice the 22 per cent rise in the value of its main rival, Royal Dutch Shell.

In all the majority shareholders rejected all 17 shareholder proposals of which seven pertained to the company's environmental policies and impact .

With oil prices at hovering around a historical high of $130 a barrel, a sizeable share of Exxon Mobil investors and environmentalists have been concerned at the company's lack of interest in the need to invest in alternative energy or global warmin

Moreover this chunk of shareholders has faulted the oil major's assumptions of future energy, who suggested that projected growth in demand from developing countries could not materialise if those nations face climatic catastrophes from global warming.

Tillerson, however, did make an effort to advance Exxon's environmental record, saying the company would reduce its environmental foot print in the future, though at the media briefing after the shareholder meeting, he aserted that the company would do everything to continue supplying oil and natural gas to meet the growing demand for energy.

"That's what we have been doing for 125 years and would not abandon doing that "when we know that is a requirement society has in the future," he told the journalists.

Despite its two years of the largest-ever corporate profits in history, some shareholders say that Exxon Mobil's lack of investments in alternative energy could lead to its competitorstaking it.

Tillerson has defended the company's focus on fossil fuels saying oil and gas will be needed to satisfy 60 per cent of the demenad for energy, which would grow by 40 per cent over current requirements as renewable sources like wind, solar and biofuels lack technological scale.

Analysts point out that Exxon's profit record hasd been so strong that shareholders see no point in splitting the roles of the chairman and CEO.

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Exxon Mobil shareholders defeat pro environment resolutions