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Activist Investors Call On Exxon To Replace Its CEO

  • Exxon is struggling to gain favor amongst activist investors, despite its recent progress in curbing emissions.
  • A coalition of investors in the company says Exxon has been ‘too slow’ to reshape itself.
  • Exxon responded, noting that it is still on track to meet its 2025 emissions goals.

It seems like "activist" environmentalists investors in Exxon simply aren't ever going to be happy. 

A group of these investors is now urging Exxon to replace its CEO and move even quicker to slash greenhouse gasses, despite the fact that Exxon is already years ahead of schedule in doing so on several goals. 

But the Coalition for a Responsible Exxon (CURE) says the company has been "too slow" to reshape itself, according to Reuters.

CURE, which has 145 members, said: "CURE awards the new board an overall grade of D- for failing to make any tangible progress on the targets set by us, other shareholders and independent observers at the time of the annual meeting."

The group took exception to the company's corporate goals released earlier this month because the plan "fails to set segment-specific reduction targets for Exxon's midstream and downstream businesses," the report says. 

Exxon responded: "The plans support the corporate strategy of continued structural cost savings, investment in low-cost-of-supply and lower-emission products, and further portfolio high-grading, positioning the company to double earnings and cash flow by 2027 versus 2019."

Despite this, CURE is still calling for Exxon's CEO to be replaced. 

Recall, just days ago, we wrote about Exxon being ahead of schedule in several of their emission targets. 

In Exxon's full corporate plan to 2027, which can be found on its website here, the company said it "plans to increase spending to $15 billion on greenhouse gas emission-reduction projects over the next six years while maintaining disciplined capital investments."

Bloomberg also noted that Exxon confirmed "it was on track to meet its 2025 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans by year-end 2021, four years ahead of schedule."

Related: The Oil Price Crash Has Taught U.S. Shale A Valuable Lesson

Turning to financials, the oil supermajor said it plans on maintaining capital investments between $20 to $25 billion, per year, through 2027. 

The company also said it has repaid $11 billion in debt, to date, in 2021. Exxon says it'll be "comfortably" in its range of targeted debt-to-capital ratio by year end.

These plans, of course, follow our reporting in October that the company was considering abandoning some of its oil and gas projects to appease environmental advocates.

The company's board, we noted in October, which includes three directors nominated by activist investors, had "expressed concerns about certain projects, including a $30 billion liquefied natural gas development in Mozambique and another multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam."

The change in strategic direction comes as Exxon's board is facing growing pressure from investors to restrain its fossil fuel investments and limit its carbon footprint. The board is also considering the carbon footprint of the new projects, and how they would affect the company's ability to meet environmental promises it has made. 

Back in September we reported that as part of appeasement of the ESG lobby, the oil giant planned on implementing disclosures of shale emissions. The company announced it would start measuring its methane emissions from production of natural gas at a facility it owns in New Mexico. Exxon joins other shale gas producers, like EQT, who already provide similar data. 

But for the company's activist investors, it doesn't seem like it'll ever be enough...

By Zerohedge.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 11 2021 said:
    Exxon is doing everything right from meeting its 2025 greenhouse gas emission-reduction plans by year-end 2021, four years ahead of schedule, to repaying $11 billion in debt, to date, in 2021 and planning to maintain capital investments between $20 to $25 billion, per year, through 2027.

    Still, this exemplary performance doesn’t please activist environmentalist investors in Exxon. There gripe isn’t about wanting Exxon to slash greenhouse gasses faster but it is about Exxon’s continued investments in oil and gas. I am sure their real objective is to force Exxon to ditch oil and gas altogether. They don’t realize that Black pays for Green.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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