One of the environmentalist groups crusading against Exxon Mobil has created a “climate accountability scorecard” targeting several other oil companies, according to a video presentation previewing the report.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) hashed out some of the provisions in its report during a Sept. 26 presentation at the Fossil Fuel and Climate Policy: An International Conference. The report will be published Nov. 6.
Kate Mulvey, the head of USC’s campaign department, lead the presentation, telling those in attendance the group’s “scorecard measures the climate related positions and actions of 8 companies from the beginning of 2015 through May of this year.”
Companies such as BP and Shell will be measured based on their roles misrepresenting information on global warming.
“The companies in our sample,” Mulvey added, “are the five leading investor owned oil and gas companies in terms of their cumulative emissions and then the three leading investor-owned U.S. coal companies in terms of cumulative emissions.”
Much of USC’s presentation – and by extension, its report – expressed a desire to pressure companies into finding ways to reduce their carbon output to zero. The group called on companies like Exxon and Chevron to renounce disinformation, for instance, and plan for “a world that is free from carbon pollution.”
Not everyone at the conference was in lock step with USC’s presentation. One climate action advocate suggested the group should quell talk of carpet-bombing Exxon and others with calls to stop developing fossil fuels.
Myles Allen, the head of the Climate Dynamics Group, who was on the panel with Mulvey, said it’s silly to think groups such Greenpeace (which was also in attendance) and USC can simply turn off fossil fuels.
“I think we need to recognize, indeed campaigning organizations like Greenpeace need to recognize, that we will still be using fossil fuels at the end of this century,” Allen said halfway through the presentation.
“If the only option is a ban, then it’s not going to happen,” he added, “so I think we need to move on from that kind of sort of … the objective cannot be to make the fossil fuel industry crawl away and die, because it won’t, and arguably it shouldn’t on a sort of human rights argument as well, arguably we don’t have any rights telling the people working in that industry that they should just crawl away and die.”
Mulvey also praised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the presentation for undergoing an investigation of Exxon, telling the audience the agency’s probe only gives credence to the importance of holding the oil company to account.
The SEC’s investigation seeks to determine how Exxon estimates its future worth amid a growing cascade of climate regulations. It has received a treasure trove of documents in connection to a continuing probe into similar issues forged in 2015 by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Coincidently, USC actually attended a meeting in April with the New York Democrat discussing ways to go after Exxon for allegedly misleading the media and investors about global warming. The meeting, of course, raises concerns the environmentalist group was colluding with government agencies to hamper one of the fossil fuel industry’s biggest oil producers.
Ultimately, the SEC will investigate the company’s practice of not writing down the value of its oil reserves, especially as oil prices continue to crater. Exxon has managed to avoid taking write-downs since oil prices plunged to nearly $30 per barrel.
The investigation is partially the result of a September investigation of Exxon conducted by InsideClimate News. The investigation found Exxon had allegedly played fast and loose with information concerning global warming.
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