EXXON MOBIL BECOMES FOCUS OF A BOYCOTT
By Felicity Barringer
New York Times
July 11, 2005
WASHINGTON - A coalition of environmental and liberal lobbying groups is
planning a boycott of Exxon Mobil products to protest the company's
challenges to warnings about global warming and its support for oil and gas
exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The boycott is part of a public relations campaign to brand Exxon Mobil, the
nation's biggest oil company, as an "outlaw," the groups say.
A spokesman for Exxon Mobil said in an e-mail message that the company did
recognize the risk of climate change. The spokesman, Russ Roberts, said
Exxon Mobil had committed to "investments and strategic planning that
address emissions today, as well as industry-leading research on
technologies with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the
But the company has also supported groups like the Competitive Enterprise
Institute, whose work has challenged some generally accepted scientific
models that predict the speed of climate change and the severity of its
On the question of Arctic drilling, Mr. Roberts wrote, "We believe that with
more than 30 years of industry experience on Alaska's North Slope and with
recent technological advancements, ANWR can be developed with little threat
to the ecology of the coastal plain."
Energy enterprises have long provoked environmentalists' opposition over
specific projects. But it has been a long time since one has been the target
of a nationwide boycott.
Lee R. Raymond, Exxon Mobil's chief executive, has been an outspoken skeptic
about the widely held view among climate scientists that human activity is
responsible for the current warming trends.
Among the groups involved in the campaign, scheduled to begin on Tuesday
with nationwide press conferences and a new Web site,
<http://www.exxposeexxon.com>, are the U.S. Public Interest Group, Defenders
of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the
Union of Concerned Scientists and Move-On.org Political Action.
Carl Pope, the Sierra Club's executive director, said the goal was either to
get Exxon Mobil to change or "to encourage other oil companies" to improve
their environmental stewardship. The company was chosen, organizers said,
because its record is worse than its competitors'.
"The other oil companies have aspirations" for environmental performance,
Mr. Pope said.