Wednesday, June 29, 2005

ExxonMobil and the White House

According to RAW STORY, the GAO has been asked to look into the redaction of a report on climate change by the White House environmental advisor who subsequently left to join ExxonMobil:
After reviewing federal laws that prohibit obstruction of Congress and false statements, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to determine the legality of actions taken by a former top Bush administration official who altered government scientific reports on global warming, RAW STORY has learned.
They have also called on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program to retract the report until an investigation is completed.
Bush hired Philip Cooney, a onetime lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute (API), to be Chief of Staff of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 2001. He resigned his post to join ExxonMobil Corporation after an expose in the New York Times revealed he had hacked apart government reports to remove references to climate change.
At a time when CEOs such as GE's Jeffrey Immelt and Cinergy's Jim Rogers are talking about the need to act in the face of climate change, ExxonMobil is dragging it's feet and funding research that purports to rebut scientific research on global warming. This is the kind of company that hires BushCo's environmental advisor, and no wonder: other industry leaders are defecting to the side of the environmental extemists.
In other news,
AlterNet reports that ExxonMobil has yet to pay the court-ordered damages relating to the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989:
The Alaska Daily News reported that Exxon's delays are paying off handsomely. While awaiting a final judicial decision, Exxon has earned enough in interest alone to pay the initial five billion award.
"Each year Exxon delays payment of its obligation," the National Association of Attorneys General wrote in a 1999 letter to Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, "it earns an estimated $400 million from the difference between the statutory interest rate on judgments of 6 percent and the company's internal rate of return of about 14 percent."

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