WASHINGTON - May 26 - Today, the Sierra Club attended the annual ExxonMobil Shareholder's Meeting and presented a shareholder resolution requesting that the largest investor-owned oil company in the world provide detailed information concerning the business purpose of its political donations. The resolution calls for the company to provide a detailed report listing all contributions made with corporate funds, the political action committees sponsored by ExxonMobil, and the business rationale for each donation or contribution.
"The flurry of similar shareholder resolutions at other companies this spring, up eight-fold from last year, indicates that shareholders across the country are taking renewed interest in their responsibility to be informed about the business purpose of their company's political donations," said Molly Rooke, a volunteer member of the Sierra Club.
In an effort to address areas where sufficient disclosure is lacking the Sierra Club has suggested the following improvements to shareholder communications:
1. ExxonMobil will update information regarding its Political Action Committee (PAC) election cycle campaign donations on its website annually.
2. The PAC election cycle campaign donations webpages will specify contributions to state and local political candidates and any Section 527 entities (special interest groups doing independent issue, candidate, or party supported political campaigns).
3. The PAC election cycle campaign donations webpages will specify that ExxonMobil does not contribute to any foreign candidates with the exception of donations in Canada to political parties via Imperial Oil.
4. The PAC election cycle campaign donations webpages will specify the expenses ExxonMobil incurs in organizing and running ExxonMobil PAC.
5. The PAC election cycle campaign donations webpages will specify the names and positions of the eight-member Contributions Committee.
6. The ExxonMobil PAC report to the Federal Election Commission of contributors to the ExxonMobil PAC shall be made available to any shareholder or member of the public upon request, such availability shall be prominently displayed on the PAC webpages and shall continue to include all contributions to the ExxonMobil PAC including those below $200.00.
The call for full disclosure and accountability for political contributions made by ExxonMobil comes in the midst of a lawsuit the Sierra Club filed against Vice President Dick Cheney and the Energy Task Force under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), seeking an accounting of energy industry participation in crafting the Bush administration's destructive energy policy, which relies on subsidies to polluting and outdated fossil fuel industries. The Sierra Club requested that ExxonMobil submit a letter to the administration asking it to release the Energy Task Force documents to the General Accounting office and the public to demonstrate that ExxonMobil has nothing to hide.