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The Rich Get Greedier | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

The Rich Get Greedier

Most Nation readers couldn't have missed ExxonMobil's recent announcement that in 2006 it reaped the largest annual profits of any corporation in history--39.5 billion dollars.

But what may be missed beneath the headlines is that unlike most of its competitors, ExxonMobil is avidly opposed to renewable energy and is actively working to undermine action on climate change. That means that at a time when the oil industry is starting to invest in alternatives to fossil fuel, CEO Rex Tillerson is poised to pump his profits right back into polluting oil and gas projects, lobbying against solutions to global warming, and funding front groups and junk science to confuse the public.

At the recent Davos meetings Tillerson told the business crowd that "even if renewable energy production grows at double digit rates, it will remain less than two percent of world energy supplies." (Well, yes, if companies don't invest in its development. Moreover, current calculations by the Renewable Energy Policy Network show that renewable energy already supplies roughly four percent of world power.)

Meanwhile, ten corporate giants, including Duke Energy, GE, Alcoa, PG&E and oil giant BP, have announced their broad support for mandatory reductions of global warming pollution. ExxonMobil, which typically outspends its competitors in the industry on lobbyists, reiterated its intentions to continue lobbying against such solutions.

What to do? Take your cues from ExposeExxon. The coalition has launched an innovative campaign to highlight the broad and deep opposition to ExxonMobile's adamant refusal to invest in or support solutions to global warming. Take a whiteboard or white piece of paper and using BIG letters, write a personal message to CEO Tillerson, then upload it to the ExposeExxon site. Check out photos people have already put up for an idea of what to do. There are already more than two hundred pictures.

If you're camera-shy you can still click here to tell your members of Congress to eliminate billions of dollars in tax breaks for Exxon and support bills that ensure reductions in global warming pollution; click here to join your name to a petition to Tillerson, and click here to support the campaign. Finally, read this report to see why so many public interest groups are joining together to target what they see as Exxon's particularly irresponsible behavior.

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