Friday, May 30, 2008

Should We Believe You Guys?

Let's start with a little bit of history. Standard Oil was the biggest American Oil Company, it had been founded by Mr. John D. Rockefeller in 1870, in a few years it made him the richest man of all time. In response to State laws trying to limit the scale of companies Rockefeller and his partners developed innovative ways of organizing, to effectively manage their fast growing enterprise. In 1882 they combined their disparate companies, spread across dozens of States, under a single group of trustees. This organization proved so successful that other giant enterprises adopted this "trust" form. Thank you for your invention Mr. Rockefeller. The company developped many others anti-competitive strategies, including a systematic program of offering to purchase competitors. In 1897 John D. Rockefeller retired from the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, the holding company of the group, but remained major shareholder. We can talk about the rest of the 150 years' history of the company just saying that the United States of America fought against them and their monopoly like crazy. The end of the story is that right now, may-june 2008, the name of the company is Exxon and represents the world's largest publicly trade international oil and gas company. In a few word we should say that they were the number one 150 years ago, and they're still the number one now, I don't think their strategies have changed so much in the last century. But never say never, in fact a couple of days ago, my attention had been captured by an interesting article talking about the Rockefellers and their Exxon Company. It seems that Rockefeller family members press for change at Exxon, some of them think that's time to start moving beyond the oil age. They voted 4 resolutions at the Company's shareholders' meeting in Dallas less than a week ago:
  • the first would urge the company to study the impact of global warming on poor countries,
  • the second would encourage Exxon to reduce its emissions,
  • the third would encourage Exxon to do more research on renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines,
  • the fourth would strip Rex Tillerson of his position as chairman of Exxon's board, requiring the company to separate that job from the chief executive's post , which he also holds.
Describing themselves as the company's longest continuous shareholders, they said they are concerned that Irving, Texas-based Exxon-Mobil is too focused on short term gains from soaring oil prices and should do more to invest in cleaner technology for the future of the world.
As I read it I thought that I was still sleeping, but fortunately, in this case I wasn't. I also thought that this news would be predominant everywhere in the next days' media. But nothing. NO-TH-ING. I mean, the most important family of the world, owning the hugest oil company of the world say something like that, and the whole world doesn't give a fuck? Sounds very strange to me. There's someone, or more than someone that shouldn't like issues like these to be publicly known. And even if all the people of the world know about it, how many of them should care? These billionaire guys fucked up the world for more than an hundred years, and now? They pretend to tell us they want their company to change because they're worried about our future? It could be possible, or better, I strongly hope so, in this case I only can say good luck to Mrs. Neva Rockefeller Goodwin (pic) the speaker of the family in the protest against the company. I'm sure she's going to fight with the worst kind of people of the world, her chairmen. She's also gonna fight against the super power of the money, something that anybody likes to lose. I hope she'll be able to change the global way of thinking about energy. And the most important, I hope she's telling us the truth. Thank you for your time and attention.

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