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ExxonMobil Confronts Its Past at Annual Shareholders’ Meeting Today


The granddaughter of the scientist who first warned Exxon’s top executives that their fuel products were dangerously altering the world’s climate planned to stand before the same company today and demand that the oil giant stop resisting the reality of climate change.

James Black was the Exxon researcher who first raised concern over global warming with the company’s senior executives in 1977. The activist group ClimateTruth.org said in a release that his granddaughter, Anna Kalinsky, would join it today at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Dallas, “to share his story and call on Exxon to stop funding ALEC [the right-wing-funded American Legislative Exchange Council] and other denial-promoting groups.”

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Shareholders at the meeting—including the $278.9-billion Canada Pension Plan—will also be voting on a resolution calling on Exxon management “to publish an annual assessment of impacts of various climate change policies,” the New York Times reported, including possibly dramatic drops in global demand for oil, contrary to the company’s own forecast that consumption will continue to rise to 2040.

That vote was forced on the company by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, after management initially refused to accept it on the meeting’s agenda.

The company is under investigation by more than 15 U.S. state attorneys general for alleged fraud in actively concealing James Black’s knowledge from the public after it first learned that fossil fuel emissions had put the global atmosphere on track for dangerous climate change. Attorneys general from at least three states—Texas, Alabama, and West Virginia—all with large fossil presences, as well as a number of Republicans in Congress, have offered Exxon support.