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Exxon Mobil has accused the Rockefellers of masterminding a climate change conspiracy aimed at destroying the fossil fuel industry.
The company has launched a campaign to defend its image after the Rockefeller family pressured lawyers, journalists and environmental groups to try and destroy the oil and gas company.
But the oil and gas giant has directed some of its fiercest fire at the descendants of John D. Rockefeller, who in 1870 founded Standard Oil, the company that became Exxon Mobil. Rockefeller family charities, longtime backers of environmental causes, have supported much of the research and reporting that has called the company to account for its climate policies, and Exxon Mobil is crying foul.
The pressure on the company is intense. Journalists have published exposés of the company’s research into climate change, including actions it took to incorporate climate projections into its exploration plans while playing down the threat. Such reporting projects, financed in part by Rockefeller family charities, included last year’s work by Inside Climate News and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which published its results with The Los Angeles Times. The findings have been boiled down to the popular Twitter shorthand #ExxonKnew.
Exxon Mobil, in public statements, court filings and thick dossiers on the company’s opponents, says it is the target of a well-funded and politically motivated conspiracy to harm its core business.
Yet where Exxon Mobil and its allies see a tangled conspiracy, members of the Rockefeller family see an effort to use the vast wealth generated by fossil fuels to combat the damage done by fossil fuels.