Exxon Mobil shareholders rejected efforts to make the oil giant a bit greener Wednesday. The push for changes had been led by descendants of Exxon founder John D. Rockefeller.
The group had hoped that by creating separate posts of chairman and chief executive officer, new leadership might force greener ideas. Rockefeller's great-great grandson, Peter O'Neill, spoke for many of his relatives at the annual shareholders' meeting.
"All of Exxon Mobil's acknowledged strengths are no guarantee that it will remain flexible and visionary in light of the changing energy realities that lie ahead," O'Neill said. "That is why we support our company having an independent chair."
Rockefeller family members were among the highest-profile stockholders demanding changes, from lower greenhouse gas emissions to employee policy changes. Every proposal, 17 in all, failed.
Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said, "Our approach to that is, first we've got to take care of our own operations inside. And that means improving our own energy efficiency, finding ways to deal with our own emissions. And we have a large array of technology efforts under way to help us do that."
Tillerson says that over the next five years, the company will invest $125 billion to find more oil and gas. Because even in 30 years, he says, most energy needs will still be met by fossil fuels.
Bill Zeeble reports from member station KERA in Dallas.