Retrospective: Rockefellers Seek Change at Exxon

Clifford Kraus
HOUSTON — The Rockefeller family built one of the great American fortunes by supplying the nation with oil. Now history has come full circle: some family members say it is time to start moving beyond the oil age.
The family members have thrown their support behind a shareholder rebellion that is ruffling feathers at Exxon Mobil, the giant oil company descended from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.
Three of the resolutions, to be voted on at the company’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday, are considered unlikely to pass, even with Rockefeller family support. 
The resolutions ask Exxon to take the threat of global warming more seriously and look for alternatives to spewing greenhouse gases into the air.
One resolution would urge the company to study the impact of global warming on poor countries, another would encourage Exxon to reduce its emissions and a third would encourage it to do more research on renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.
A fourth resolution, which the Rockefellers are most united in supporting, is considered more likely to pass. It would strip Rex W. Tillerson of his position as chairman of Exxon’s board, forcing the company to separate that job from the chief executive’s job.

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