The world's largest integrated oil company, ExxonMobil has one of the worst environmental reputations. An economic powerhouse, the company reported more than $370 billion in sales in 2005, an almost 25 percent increase over 2004. The company operates over 35,000 service stations in more than 100 countries under the names Exxon, Esso, and Mobil.
ExxonMobil has received numerous fines and penalties from the EPA for its environmental violations. International human-rights and environmental organizations from Amnesty International to Greenpeace have called for boycotts in response to the company's stance on climate change and its troubling human-rights history:
It's been more than 17 years since the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and ExxonMobil still refuses to pay punitive damages. Although the company has given $2.2 billion to help clean up Prince William Sound, many organizations say that amount is far too little to address lingering environmental problems. In the past decade, ExxonMobil has also been responsible for hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spilled in Nigeria and New York.
In 2001, The Sierra Club reported that ExxonMobil's pipeline project from Chad to the coast of Cameroon cuts through indigenous communities' rainforest homes. Last January, the project generated new controversy when Chad's government diverted money generated from petroleum revenue away from poverty-relief and social programs.
In 2002, the Political Economy Research Institute rated ExxonMobil the sixth-worst polluter in the United States based on EPA emissions data.
In 2005, the EPA levied an $8.7 million civil penalty on ExxonMobil for its nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions in Illinois, Louisiana, and Montana. According to the EPA, these pollutants can increase the risk of childhood asthma and cause other environmental and health damages. In addition to the penalty, the company will have to spend $9.6 million on environmental programs in communities near the refineries.
That same year, ExxonMobil emitted nearly 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.
A 2005 report by Jantzi Research ranked ExxonMobil below average for its social and environmental practices.
ExxonMobil has long maintained a close relationship with the Indonesian military, infamous for its human-rights abuses. According to Amnesty International, Indonesian soldiers guarding the company's buildings have tortured and killed civilians.
Despite protests from millions of U.S. citizens, ExxonMobil still seeks to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Stance on Global Warming
Five years after our initial report, ExxonMobil still asserts that uncertainty remains over the human causes of global climate change.
ExxonMobil has actively lobbied against the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to cap greenhouse-gas emissions. In 2005, the company contributed almost $3 million to groups that, according to the British Royal Society, "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence."
ExxonMobil is a member of the Business Roundtable, a public advocacy group of corporations that comprise nearly a third of the value of the U.S. stock market. The Business Roundtable opposes mandatory caps on greenhouse-gas emissions.
In the past decade, ExxonMobil has contributed more than $11 million to the Save the Tiger Fund to support tiger-habitat protection, conservation awareness, and human-wildlife conflict management internationally.
In the United States, ExxonMobil supports Ducks Unlimited's conservation efforts in the Gulf region and the Wildlife Habitat Council's work to improve wildlife habitat on corporate, private, and public lands.