Earth Shakers: The Counter-Enviro Power List

Lee Raymond: Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil

May 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

Raymond, 66, oversees the most profitable corporation in America—ExxonMobil, which operates oil refineries in 25 countries and explores for oil and gas on six continents, racking up $25 billion in profits in 2004. A native of South Dakota and a 42-year company veteran, Raymond is unapologetic about his disdain for the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions, which went into effect on February 16, 2005—without the United States' participation. In speeches and ads placed during 2001, Raymond pressed the message that the cost of complying with Kyoto far outweighs the benefits, a view echoed by President Bush when he rejected the treaty in 2001.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil shows no sign of changing the way it does business. To shore up support in Washington, the company has donated heavily to President Bush and to oil-friendly Republicans and Democrats in Congress, as have others in the industry. Unlike fellow global energy giants BP and Shell, however, ExxonMobil has not publicly declared any voluntary targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from its refineries and other operations. Emissions currently total 128 million metric tons per year, more than twice those produced by Norway.

SOUND BITE: "ExxonMobil stands alone in denying the reality of global warming and refusing to invest in renewable energy," says Sister Patricia Daly, executive director of the New Jersey—based Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. "By doing this, they're putting long-term profitability at risk."

NEXT UP: In 2005, look for ExxonMobil to push hard to extract oil from ANWR. Of all the major companies with oil and gas interests on Alaska's North Slope, including BP, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil is the only one that still funds Arctic Power, an Anchorage-based advocacy group devoted to ANWR drilling.

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