We at Grist would like to apologize to the folks at ExxonMobil for going on and on about their dismal safety record. About the recent tar-sands oil spill in Mayflower, Ark. About the heavy-handed way the company is trying to control information about the spill. About a chemical spill at an ExxonMobil refinery last week that stunk up New Orleans. About how the company in 2011 waited 46 minutes to shut off a pipeline that was dumping oil into the Yellowstone River. About that old Exxon Valdez thing.
We apologize because last week a group controlled by executives from ExxonMobil and similarly dangerous corporations bestowed upon ExxonMobil an award recognizing its stellar emphasis on safety. Yes, the nonprofit National Safety Council — whose board of directors includes ExxonMobil Safety VP Jeffrey Woodbury and former ExxonMobil exec Michael Henderek — awarded ExxonMobil the Green Cross for Safety medal.
I guess that shows us!
“It is an honor to receive this medal on behalf of the men and women of ExxonMobil,” said Rex W. Tillerson, ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer. “We hold this award in high esteem because it recognizes the deep commitment of our company and our people to a culture of safety.”
NSC Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kent McElhattan and Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO, presented the Green Cross for Safety medal to Mr. Tillerson.
“It is evident that ExxonMobil is committed to excellence in safety, security, health and environmental performance,” said Froetscher. “The Council is honored to recognize ExxonMobil with the Green Cross for Safety medal. This organization is a wonderful example of the role corporations can play in preventing injuries and saving lives.” …
Past recipients of the Green Cross for Safety medal include the Dow Chemical Company, Schneider Electric North America, Exelon Nuclear, FirstGroup, Delta Air Lines, UPS, DuPont, Liberty Mutual Group, Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler, Kenny Construction Company, Ryder System Inc., Intel Corporation and AK Steel.
So, we are sorry, ExxonMobil. We didn’t mean to suggest that you are any more of a danger to the lives and livelihoods of Americans than Dow Chemical or DuPont (which also happen to have executives sitting on the National Safety Council’s board of directors). Clearly, you massive corporations are in a safety class all your own.