ExxonMobil Contemplates Cleaning up Its Act

It’s tough to think of a company with a worse reputation among environmentalists than ExxonMobil — so it comes as a pleasant surprise that the world’s largest oil and gas company may be preparing to change its tune. Historically, ExxonMobil has dismissed the importance and viability of renewable energy and denied any connection between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change; now, says spokesperson Tom Cirigliano, “We take the issue of global climate change seriously.” Some of the potential change may be due to the fact that ExxonMobil Chair and CEO Lee Raymond, the main force behind the company’s vociferous opposition to eco-friendly policies, has reached retirement age and is expected to step down next year. Other explanations include hard work by the green group Campaign ExxonMobil to draw attention to the company’s environmental rap sheet, and increasing concern among shareholders about the financial implications of environmental negligence.