ExxonMobil’s greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, supported President Bush’s decision to keep the U.S. from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. In a wacky coincidence, the company’s greenhouse-gas emissions have been increasing, last year rising 2 percent to almost 150 million tons — more than twice the emissions of the entire country of Norway. Exxon is addressing the problem by … oh, wait, they’re not addressing the problem. While the company claims it is “taking steps” to reduce gases, it has set no actual targets, according to a spokesflack. By comparison, BP, the world’s second largest oil company with production just slightly under that of Exxon, produces less than half of Exxon’s emissions. Much of the problem lies in the oil fields of Nigeria, where Exxon often brings natural gas to the surface with the oil and “flares” — i.e., burns — it off in the open air. Nigeria has requested that the company cut it out. Speaking of Nigeria, its government has also requested that Shell clean up the more than 250 oil spills in the country for which the company is responsible.