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Exxon in California
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you are all surprised to see big alligators Exxon, Adelson et al on this list:

The nonprofit formed to handle President Donald Trump’s transition raised about $6.5 million in private contributions, fueled in part by corporate interests, billionaires and lobbyists, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of a new federal filing.

The transition nonprofit had spent roughly $4.7 million of this money as of Feb. 15.

Notable among Trump’s transition supporters are lobbyists and the firms that employ them.

While Trump’s inauguration committee banned contributions from lobbyists — part of Trump’s “drain the swamp” effort — the transition operation did not, and many lobbyists eagerly helped raise money.

Brian Ballard, for example, the longtime lobbyist for the Trump Organization, put together a fundraiser in Orlando and his firm, Ballard Partners, contributed the maximum $5,000. He has since opened a Washington, D.C., office and registered to represent a long list of high-profile corporate clients, including, American Airlines, private prison company the Geo Group (which contributed $5,000 to the transition directly) and U.S. Sugar Corp.

Other lobbyists listed on the transition’s contributor list include David Tamasi, whose clients include the Alliance of Catholic Health Care; David Bockorny, whose clients include the American Beverage Association and 21st Century Fox; former Rep. Susan Molinari, now Google’s lead lobbyist; and her husband, former Rep. Bill Paxon, a lobbyist for law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Lobbyist Richard Hohlt, who represents Altria and Chevron, also contributed.

Lobbying firms, trade associations and law firms with lobbying practices opened their checkbook.

Among them: Baker Donelson, Akin Gump, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the Independent Community Bankers of America, Holland & Knight and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Others included the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Railroads, the American Bankers Association, Airlines for America, the Entertainment Software Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.

All gave $5,000 each.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In California, we coined a term for Exxon--the sign of the double cross. Here's the latest on Rex's e-mails, and the "integrity" of the oil industry.

Amid the fresh outrages over the Trump administration's budget proposal, the GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Muslim Ban 2.0,another scandal is quietly simmering. It's a story about big oil's lies and Wall Street corruption that hasn't gotten anywhere near the attention it deserves.

It starts with a shady character named Wayne Tracker – or, as you may know him, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, of course, is Donald Trump's secretary of state. Prior to joining the Trump administration, he served as CEO of the fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil for over a decade.

Decades ago, Exxon's own scientists concluded that carbon dioxide emissions, an inevitable byproduct of burning fossil fuels, are causing climate change. Yet the company buried those findings and instead funded pseudo-scientific studies purporting to deny or downplay legitimate science.

Investigators in the New York attorney general's office suspect this wasn't just a colossal crime against the environment; it might also be a massive financial fraud.

First, some background. Publicly traded companies like Exxon are required to make annual reports on their financial condition to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Federal law requires their CEOs to personally certify that those reports do not contain "any untrue statement of a material fact." Just as importantly, they must also swear that the reports don't "omit to state a material fact" relevant to the company's financial health.

In Exxon's case, the company allegedly failed to disclose the full truth about its climate research in its own SEC filings. In its 2015 statement, the last one certified personally by Tillerson, the company reported net property, plant and equipment – which includes its oil reserves – valued at about $252 billion. That constituted almost 75 percent of its total assets of $337 billion.

Yet if a significant portion of those oil reserves prove to be unrecoverable – either because climate-conscious governments or social movements compel fossil fuel companies to stop extraction – that means those assets would be worth a whole lot less. A large drop in the valuation of the company's assets would lead to a massive "impairment charge," potentially driving the company into the red.

This is a huge risk. But it's scarcely mentioned in Exxon's 2015 filing.

The document does mention climate change as a potential concern that may reduce demand for the company's products, but without assigning any quantitative risk to it. Elsewhere, in a 2014 report that claimed to address shareholder concerns about climate risk, the company dismissed the possibility of deep cuts in carbon emissions as "highly unlikely."

The potential misinformation provided to investors affects more than just hedge fund managers and other billionaires. It means that lots of teachers, firefighters and other ordinary workers have their retirement savings tied up in a company that could be seriously overvalued.

So who is Wayne Tracker? Tracker is the email alias for Tillerson created by Exxon, and the New York attorney general suspects it may have been used to conceal some of then-CEO Tillerson's communications regarding climate change. The company was required to produce all relevant internal communications on climate risk to comply with a state subpoena, but failed to produce the bulk of the emails from the Wayne Tracker address.

The company responded with a long letter full of ideological posturing, but admitted that it failed to turn over the bulk of the emails because its "technological processes [for finding materials responsive to the subpoena] did not automatically extend to the secondary email account."

The judge was evidently not impressed with Exxon's arguments. He has ordered the company to turn over the "Wayne Tracker" emails by March 31, along with sworn affidavits explaining how the company identified and turned over documents in response to the subpoena, and explanations of what documents may have been lost and why.

The contents of the emails may lead to personal consequences for "Secretary Tracker" himself. If it emerges that he privately acknowledged larger climate risks to the company's business than what was disclosed in SEC filings, he could face criminal penalties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He doesn't enjoy immunity from prosecution as a public official because his actions as CEO of Exxon-Mobil were not in relation to his position as secretary of state.

The timing of this revelation is unfortunate. If it had been public knowledge prior to Tillerson's Senate confirmation, he may never have been confirmed in the first place. However, it's not too late to hold him accountable for potentially misleading investors. We could yet witness the spectacle of a sitting U.S. secretary of state in the dock for fraud charges.

So much for "draining the swamp."

Exxon proposed a development in California that was reviewed by the Coastal Commission, much to the chagrin of Exxon at the time and mrgybe still. But from one of those in the meeting, I will give you this:

Carl Boronkay, a senior deputy attorney general, invited Exxon and coastal staff ( to a meeting in his office when the permit was pending. Boronkay told the Exxon representatives at the meeting that, if the facts were as represented by Coastal staff, he would have to recommend to the Coastal Commission that they must reject the Exxon permit application as a matter of law.

I don't think their corporate culture has changed appreciably.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

• Exxon Mobil was fined $21 million for violating the Clean Air Act 16,386 times.


when good people stay silent the right wing are the only ones heard.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a surprise:

Exxon Safety Lapses Led To Calif. Refinery Blast, CSB Says
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Wednesday pointed a finger squarely at ExxonMobil for a February 2015 explosion at a California refinery the oil company owned at the time, saying numerous safety lapses contributed to an easily preventable accident.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
Techno, All you have to know is that the cabal of 17 Democrat AGs, who breathlessly joined hands with Al gore in a transparently political witchhunt against Exxon, has fallen apart. Only Eric Schneiderman, who wants to be NY governor, and uber liberal Healey from uber liberal Mass, are left standing. Exxon has provided sleazy Eric......whose sole motivation is to advance his political career.....with over a million documents at enormous cost to shareholders. Armed with this is Eric ready to prove all his wild accusations? Apparently not, since he tells us he is now looking forward, not back..........translation, he's found nothing, so he has switched to a new tack, accusing Exxon of overvaluing its oil and gas reserves. The ignorant and gullible will trot alongside him.

These unprincipled, dimwitted AGs thought they could abuse their power and collectively bully Exxon into a settlement that they could boast about to voters. They weren't smart enough to look at Exxon's history on extortion attempts. Exxon never caves in these matters as they will learn to their cost.

Well, no:

Schneiderman’s office claims the investigation has already uncovered “Exxon’s significant potential investor fraud,” and evidence that Tillerson — who served as the company’s chairman and chief executive before joining the Trump administration — may have signed off on accounting discrepancies.

The company admitted earlier this year that is has already destroyed or lost many of Tillerson’s emails — in which he used the moniker “Wayne Tracker” to fly under the radar.

Nine Exxon witnesses will give testimony in the coming weeks — starting at the botton of a chain of command that is ultimately expected to lead to Tillerson.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what happens when an arrogant Texas oil man has to deal with the rest of the world.

A few juicy quotes.

Tillerson, for his part, shows little evidence of holding his Commander-in-Chief in high regard. Last July, following Trump’s strangely political and inappropriate speech at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree, Tillerson, according to NBC, was so offended that he was going to resign, until Vice-President Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and the incoming chief of staff, John Kelly, persuaded him to stay. That same month, Mattis reportedly attended a meeting of national-security officials at which Tillerson referred to Trump as a “fucking moron.” Those reports have renewed rumors in Washington that Tillerson will soon resign or be fired. Both sides quickly responded with ritual assurances of fealty. Yet few believe that the relationship between Trump and Tillerson is warm or coöperative, or that it will last long.

Of course, contrary to the claims of mrgybe, Exxon has fought transparency on payments to foreign governments, as well as sanctions:
2002, a year after Congress passed the Patriot Act, a group of Senate investigators wanted to determine whether American banks were complying with the law’s restrictions against money laundering. One of them was Riggs Bank, in Washington, D.C. When the investigators began looking into Riggs’s books, they discovered several accounts, containing hundreds of millions of dollars, linked to Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny African nation with enormous gas and oil reserves. Some of the accounts were receiving deposits from ExxonMobil, which maintained large operations in the country. At the time, Tillerson was Exxon’s senior vice-president.
Since the nineteen-nineties, when oil and gas were discovered in Equatorial Guinea, it has been one of the world’s most corrupt and undemocratic nations, where dissidents are routinely jailed and tortured. Obiang, who came to power in 1979, oversaw the awarding of all the country’s oil contracts. He is estimated to have a fortune of at least six hundred million dollars, while most of his citizens live on less than two dollars a day. His son is notorious for flagrant displays of wealth; he owned a thirty-million-dollar mansion in Malibu (later confiscated by American officials) and more than a million dollars’ worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia.
In some cases, the Senate investigators found, Exxon wired money directly to offshore bank accounts that Obiang controlled. In others, money was carried to the bank in suitcases containing millions of dollars in shrink-wrapped bundles. Exxon also contributed to a fund, controlled by Obiang, to send the children of high-ranking government officials to study in the United States.
Exxon officials told the investigators that the payments were made not to acquire oil concessions but to pay for a variety of services, such as security and catering, that Exxon needed in order to operate in Equatorial Guinea. The company had no choice, they said, since Obiang’s family had monopolies on these services. Elise Bean, a former Senate investigator who worked on the case, told me, “It was a wonderful example of paying someone off without paying them off.”

The discoveries helped prompt senators to draw up legislation requiring American resource companies to disclose any payments to foreign governments. According to the bill’s sponsors, the United States had an interest in promoting good governance abroad. “Corruption is a real problem for American foreign policy,” a former Senate aide who drafted the bill told me. Under the legislation, companies would also be required to disclose domestic payments, including taxes paid to the U.S. government, something Exxon has never done.
For years, as Exxon and others in the industry conducted a concerted lobbying effort against the legislation, Congress delayed acting on it. Then, in 2010, following the financial crisis, language calling for a new disclosure regulation, Rule 1504, was included in the Dodd-Frank legislation, which imposed reforms on banks and other financial institutions. Tillerson, as the C.E.O. of Exxon, went to Capitol Hill to argue against the rule, and met with one of the senators who supported it. According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Tillerson said that if Exxon had to disclose payments to foreign governments it would make many of those governments unhappy—especially that of Russia, where Exxon was involved in multibillion-dollar projects. The senator refused to drop the rule, and Tillerson became visibly agitated. (Tillerson denies this.) “He got red-faced angry,” the source recalled. “He lifted out of his chair in anger. My impression was that he was not used to people with different views.”
After years of wrangling, Rule 1504 was approved, and scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2017. Following Trump’s election, however, the Republican-controlled Congress singled out a number of regulations for repeal, Rule 1504 among them. But Congress waited until after Tillerson’s confirmation hearing to include the rule in repeal legislation; Tillerson was not asked about it at the hearing. On February 1st, with Exxon lobbyists on the Hill to push Congress, the House voted to rescind Rule 1504, and the Senate quickly did the same. Almost exactly an hour later, Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State.

And then there is lying to protect market share:

Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard, examined nineteen papers and reports on climate change produced by Exxon scientists between 1999 and 2004, and compared them with a series of essays from Exxon that were periodically published as advertisements in the Times. “Exxon’s scientists were very good,” Oreskes told me. “At the same time that they were telling their bosses that the climate was warming, Exxon was taking ads out in the Times saying that the science was wrong.”
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