Steve Milloy climate denier's ExxonMobil shareholder proposal goes down in flames

milloy.jpgSteve Milloy's decades long war on climate change science and policy continued today at the ExxonMobil Annual General Meeting for shareholders.  

There Milloy forwarded shareholder proposal on "Nuisance Shareholders" with an attack on environmentalists, shareholder activists and the Exxon management.

Milloy's proposal got a lame 1.5% of shareholders' votes, while a climate change proposal linked to the Paris agreement's 2 degree target garnered a record 62.3% of votes, the first climate change resolution ever to pass, even while it was opposed by ExxonMobil.

For your reference, Milloy's proposal is "Item 8 - Restrict Precatory Proposals" on the ExxonMobil 2017 Proxy statement.

I will try to post a tape of Milloy's rant at the shareholder meeting...

(thanks to Media Matters for the image)

Blowback

In what some might term 'blowback', Exxon can blame itself for Milloy, having funded his operations for several years in the mid 2000s, including a grant that kickstarted Milloy's Free Enterprise Action Institute in 2003 and the subsequent Free Enterprise Education Institute in 2004 and 2005, both headquartered in Milloy's Potomac, Maryland home.  The company also funded the tobacco industry funded front group that made Milloy who he is today, the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.

Exxon grants to Steve Milloy that we know about from ExxonMobil public documents and tax returns:

The Advancement of Sound Science Coaltiion - at least $30,000

Free Enterprise Action Institute - $50,000 in 2003

Free Enterprise Education Institute - $80,000 ($10,000 in 2004, $70,000 in 2005)

 

Footnote: There was an interesting discrepancy in ExxonMobil's reporting of these grants to Milloy.

In 2005, the company's Worldwide Giving Report shows the $70,000 total with no description

ExxonMobil Foundation's IRS 990 Form  lists a grant titled "Corporate Social Responsibility and Climate Change" for $45,000 and another $25,000 in "general operating support"

The company did not renew these grants in 2006.

With Exxon's money, Milloy went after numerous companies that were stepping up to the plate on climate change, including General Electric and others.

The Free Enterprise Education Institute ran the website CSR/SRI Watch http://csrwatch.com which is now offline. The site showcased anti-corporate social responsibility/socially responsible investment and monitored the so-called "anti-business" movement composed of social and environmental activists holding corporations accountable for their actions. 

CSR/SRI Watch lists the "Top 10 Worst Moments in Free Enterprise" which includes companies who buy fair-trade coffee, BP's renewable energy plans, and Citigroup's decision to not lend to those contributing to global warming and logging as per the Rainforest Action Network's asks. CSR/SRI Watch deplores businesses listening to activists of any sort and lambasts corporations who make decisions based around social responsibility rather than the bottom line. CSRWatch also includes "required reading" from the likes of the Institute for Economic Affairs - a conservative free-market think tank based in London.  

From the Free Enterprise Education Institute website: "American Electric Power, Alcoa, Boeing, DuPont, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Toyota and 32 other companies that belong to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change were heralded by New York Times editors as “progressive” for subscribing to the unproven notion that humans are altering global climate for the worse, and to the even more dubious idea that environmental activists like those at the Pew Center should decide U.S. energy policy in hopes of affecting global climate. Though voters (through both President Bush and the U.S. Senate) have already recognized the junk science behind global warming hysteria and the economic downside of the international global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol, these 40 corporate managements, nevertheless, see some sort of public relations-upside in supporting the Pew Center’s economy-killing agenda. These managements are also helping CSR activists circumvent our public democratic process -- which has rejected the Kyoto Protocol -- in order to compel U.S. companies to adopt “private Kyoto” protocols."

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