Exxon Mobil Corporation (ticker: XOM) announced today that it is quitting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after a disagreement with the business group over climate change, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
ALEC is a conservative business association backed by the billionaire Koch Brothers and other fossil-fuel interests that for years has been the main vehicle for climate change-denying energy corporations to attack state-level climate and clean energy policies – much-needed policies like carbon taxes and fees, renewable portfolio standards, subsidies for solar and wind power, and climate science research.
ALEC has also been the "Bill Mill" that's disseminated model legislation to conservative state legislators on behalf of corporate interests ranging from the NRA and gun lobby to factory farms.
We applaud Exxon for taking a stand in favor of science and constructive dialogue in regard to the grave threat climate change poses to human health, the environment, and the global economy. As shareholders we recognize this as both good science and good business.
For decades, Exxon steadfastly denied the existence of man-made global warming and spent millions of dollars to lobby against climate and clean energy policies. This despite internal documents that reveal the company recognized climate change was a serious threat to the environment as early as the 1970s.
Quitting ALEC is a positive step but it must not stop there. We urge Exxon management to cancel its membership in any industry group that denies the scientific consensus on climate change or advocates against meaningful climate action. As a leader, Exxon needs to accelerate its efforts to combat climate change and move the energy industry toward a fossil-free future.