March 24, 2016

Peak Hypocrisy: Rockefeller Fund Divests Fossil Fuels, Says Exxon Is "Morally Reprehensible"

The winner of today's "peak irony", or rather hypocrisy, award is easy: it goes to the Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity which exists only thanks to John D. Rockefeller's creation of the Standard Oil carbon-spewing behemoth (a predecessor to today's ExxonMobil) which over the past century has created billions in profits for the Rockefeller family and billions in tons of CO2 emissions, "proudly announcing" this morning that it intends to sell all fossil fuel exposure, and that it would "eliminate holdings" of ExxonMobil because the oil company associated with the family fortune has "worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change."

The U.S.-based charity will also divest its coal and Canadian oil sands holdings.

This striking move is the result of the Fund's "green" metamorphosis. According to the charity, given the threat posed to the survival of human and natural ecosystems, "there is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons."

Oh, now they tell us.

In response to the divestment movement, many oil industry leaders have argued that millions of people in the developing world would be condemned to darkness and poverty if society halted the burning of fossil fuels anytime in the next several decades, before there is an ample supply of cleaner energy sources. And considering the price of oil is so cheap currently that the research and development of so-called alternative, or clean sources of energy is completely uneconomical, it means that the kind, liberal folks over at the Rockefeller foundation would rather see Africa in the dark than suffer the immoral indignity of even a few more grams of CO2 emissions.

Today's move follows the launch last November by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of an investigation into whether Exxon misled the public and shareholders about the risks of climate change. At the time, the company said it has included information about the business risk of climate change for many years in its quarterly filings, corporate citizenship report and in other reports to shareholders.

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