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The Rockefeller Family Fund to divest from fossil fuel ASAP

In 2014 itself the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) had divested from fossil fuel. The Rockefeller Family Fund has stated Exxon Mobil Corp has misled the public and its shareholders on the risks of climate change.

The Rockefeller Family Fund has stated the Exxon Mobil Corp has misled the public about risks related to climate change and thus it would "eliminate holdings" from Exxon Mobil Corp and divest from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
Although only a modest $130 million of its assets are invested in fossil fuels, the move by the charity has made sizeable ripples since almost a century ago, John D. Rockefeller Sr. made a fortune with Standard Oil, a precursor to Exxon Mobil.
The Rockefeller Family Fund has stated it would also divest from Canadian oil sands and coal. Given the threat of survival of natural ecosystems and that of the human species, it has said "there is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons."
A letter posted on its website states that Exxon's conduct on climate change related issues appears to be "morally reprehensible."
When asked to react to the Rockefeller statement, Alan Jeffers, a spokesman from Exxon Mobil said, "It's not surprising that they're divesting from the company."
He went on to add, "The Rockefeller Family Fund provided financial support to InsideClimate News and Columbia University Journalism School which produced inaccurate and deliberately misleading stories about ExxonMobil's history of climate research."
Lee Wasserman, the Director of the Rockefeller Family Fund responded to Exxon’s comments by stating the fact that Exxon was not the only company to be mentioned in its letter.
"We supported public interest journalism to better understand how the fossil fuel industry was dealing with the reality of climate science internally and publicly. No specific company was targeted in our push to drive better public understanding and better climate policy," said Wasserman.
In 2015, after reports starting emerging of Exxon’s conduct, New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, had launched an investigation into whether the company misled the public and its shareholders on the risks related to climate change.
Yesterday, Exxon stated that those stories "wrongly suggested that we had reached definitive conclusions about the risks of climate change decades before the world's experts and while climate science was in an early stage of development."
Exxon Mobil has now said that the threat of climate change is very real and warrants action.
In 2008 itself, members of the Rockefeller family had called on Exxon to increase its research into alternative fuels. The current move by the Rockefeller Family Fund isn’t at all surprising since in 2014 itself, a fund associated with the family, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), had disclosed that it would divest from fossil fuels.
U.S. oil prices fell by 4% yesterday. Shares of Exxon Mobil also fell by 04% to $83.75.

Debashish Mukherjee

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