[Many thanks to Humberto García for bringing this item to our attention.] The full title of the article is “What Guyana needs to know about ExxonMobil—Pt 4… ExxonMobil shows two faces to investors, partners” (Kaieteur News, 27 June 2017). The article underlines many problems with doing business with the giant, especially its history of underpaying royalties and its lack of transparency regarding climate change. Here are excerpts:
[. . .] In recent weeks, Kaieteur News embarked on a series of articles which served to enlighten the citizenry on all they need to know about a company with which Guyana is going to sign a life changing contract. Through detailed research, this publication has presented the facts on how ExxonMobil seems to have a pattern of entering weak nations with non-transparent governments. All are rich in oil but their people are still no better off today. It was also exposed how ExxonMobil has a history of underpaying royalties in territories it operates. Its own mother country, the United States, was no exception from this type of behaviour.
In this installment Kaieteur News will show how ExxonMobil is now facing several lawsuits, including one for allegedly deceiving its shareholders in the US. According to http://www.theguardian.com, (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/31/exxonmobil-climate-change-cost-shareholders) ExxonMobil was forced to be more frank with its shareholders regarding the effect climate change will have on the operations and profitability of the company.
The report by the Guardian notes that Climate Change poses a real threat to the sustainability and the manner in which ExxonMobil will continue to operate its business in the future. Climate Change, the article notes, is a “material financial threat” for ExxonMobil. But that is not all. ExxonMobil is currently under investigation by the Offices of the New York Attorney General and Massachusetts for being deceitful about climate change, something the company, of course, has denied.
According to the www.nytimes.com (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html), an investigation is being carried out to determine whether the company has been truthful to the public on the issue of climate change or if it deceived its investors about the impact the challenging issue can have on the business. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Exxon Mobil, for extensive financial records, emails and other documents that would be helpful to the investigation, the NY Times reported. The media outlet said, “The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research. The inquiry would include a period of at least a decade during which ExxonMobil funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences — and uncertainties — to company executives.” In short, ExxonMobil was actually paying lobbyists to deny the impact of climate change.
ExxonMobil has been accused over the years of funding certain groups and government officials/parties to promote disinformation about the effects of climate change. It has of course denied this to the end, but the media reports on this matter are overwhelming. [. . .] In addition to the aforementioned, civil proceedings have been filed against ExxonMobil by some of its own shareholders who feel deceived by the company regarding the truth about climate change and the toll it will take on the business’s fortunes as most nations are being encouraged to move in the direction of cleaner sources of energy.
According to http://www.insideclimatenews.org. (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18112016/exxon-climate-change-research-oil-reserves-stranded-assets-lawsuit), the deception by ExxonMobil led to the investors paying inflated prices for Exxon stock and subjected them to financial losses because the company knew the value of its oil reserves was less than what it was telling investors. This was also noted in the lawsuit which was filed in a Texas federal court this year. (See link for full lawsuit: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3215695-Class-Action-Exxon-Complaint.html.) [. . .]
Adding to ExxonMobil’s climate change woes, is the fact that even the Security Exchange Council (SEC) has also launched an investigation in an effort to ascertain if the oil king has been completely honest with investors about climate risks and accounting issues concerning its reserves. [. . .]