One month after assuming the top job at ExxonMobil, CEO Rex Tillerson has outdone his predecessor Lee Raymond by announcing the largest corporate profit in U.S. history--$36 billion in 2005. In a twist of irony, this record-breaking year for the world's largest oil company coincides with the warmest year on record. As ExxonMobil's executives are toasting their windfall, they are literally toasting the Earth.
To demonstrate how ExxonMobil is deepening American dependence on oil and creating more problems with every dollar it makes, the Exxpose Exxon campaign just released this one-minute cartoon and song called "Toast the Earth."
ExxonMobil's record-breaking profits reaped as American consumers suffer sky-high heating and gas prices are only part of the story; it's what the company does and does not do with those profits that really matters. ExxonMobil is using its windfall to deny the urgency of global warming, fund junk science to cloud debate on this critical issue, and actively inhibit domestic and international efforts to cut global warming pollution. ExxonMobil is the only oil company that still funds Arctic Power, the single-issue lobbying organization dedicated to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And, egregiously, ExxonMobil continues to challenge the 1994 court ruling ordering the company to pay $4-$5 billion in punitive damages to 30,000 fishermen and others injured by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Already, 3000 plaintiffs have died waiting for ExxonMobil to pay its debt.
On the other hand, ExxonMobil executives call investing in clean renewable energies "uneconomic" and have said that America just needs to accept its oil dependence rather than take "expensive" steps to solve it.
With record-breaking profits comes record responsibility. That's why a coalition of 15 environmental and public interest groups launched a campaign to "Exxpose Exxon," asking Americans not to buy ExxonMobil products, work for the company, or invest in ExxonMobil stock.
The new CEO can chart a new course for ExxonMobil. It's time ExxonMobil shed its role as the nation's leading irresponsible, anti-environmental oil company and move forward as a responsible energy company.
Gene Karpinski is Executive Director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG). U.S. PIRG is one of the founding members of the Exxpose Exxon campaign. For more information, visit www.ExxposeExxon.com.