Environmental zealots who want to eliminate the fossil fuels that have powered prosperity in the United States are now using infiltration tactics to make oil giants embrace alternative energy. In a historic move, Larry Fink’s BlackRock played a major role in installing two climate change activists onto ExxonMobil’s board of directors.
The corporation announced the election of its board on Wednesday:
ExxonMobil said today that based on preliminary vote estimates by its proxy solicitor, shareholders have elected eight of ExxonMobil nominees to the board of directors and two of Engine No. 1 nominees. Vote results for five nominees were too close to call.
“We welcome all of our new directors and look forward to working with them constructively and collectively on behalf of all shareholders,” said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer. “We’ve been actively engaging with shareholders and received positive feedback and support, particularly for our announcements relating to low-carbon solutions and progress in efforts to reduce costs and improve earnings. We heard from shareholders today about their desire to further these efforts, and we are well positioned to respond.”
ExxonMobil has developed a portfolio of investment opportunities in high-return, low cost-of-supply projects. The company has also significantly reduced emissions and set clear plans for further reductions to 2025, consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Blaze reported on BlackRock’s role in the infiltration:
The Hill reported that “the activist hedge fund, which has a minor stake in Exxon at just $50 million, was formed last year with the goal of shifting Exxon’s approach to climate change.” Exxon has a market value of roughly $250 billion.
But Engine No. 1 was able to gain the support of Exxon’s top shareholders in its climate change initiative, winning “the backing of the three biggest U.S. pension funds, the two biggest advisory services, and at least one of the three biggest fund managers,” The Washington Post reported. The outlet noted that those three fund managers are BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, who altogether “hold more than 20 percent of ExxonMobile’s shares.”
Exxon announced in a press release that preliminary vote estimates indicate that shareholders elected Engine No. 1 nominees Gregory Goff and Kaisa Hietala to the board. According to Axios, “Hietala is a a former renewables executive with the refining company Neste and Goff is the former CEO of the refiner Andeavor.”