Viridian Note 00238: Hex On Exxon

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts
ExxonMobil, corporate profits, Campaign Exxon-Mobil

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Business Wire, April 1, 02001 (((Not an April Fools' joke, more's the pity))) FORTUNE magazine Links: (((Lest We Forget)))

"Exxon Mobil Tops 2001 Ranking of the Fortune 500; Oil giant replaces GM at top of list after 15 years; Mega-Retailer Wal-Mart is No.2

"NEW YORK == (BUSINESS WIRE) == April 1, 2001 via NewsEdge Corporation

"Exxon Mobil vaulted into the top spot on the annual FORTUNE 500 ranking of the largest American companies, replacing 15-year veteran GM.

"With revenues for 2000 at a record $210 billion, Exxon outpaced No. 2 Wal-Mart by $17 billion and No. 3 GM by $26 billion. The FORTUNE 500 ranking has been dominated by two industries == cars and oil == since its inception in 1955: in 47 years, only two companies have been at the top of the list, Exxon (which merged with Mobil in 1999) and GM. (...)

"Exxon Mobil wasn't the only oil company to jump in the rankings. (((They're just the fattest and stupidest.)))

"'The country faced an energy crunch as the drain on resources from several years of economic expansion collided with utility deregulation, soaring natural gas prices, and OPEC's maneuvering to keep oil prices high,' FORTUNE's Lee Clifford writes in the introduction to the list. Those high prices helped other energy companies strike it rich: Duke Energy (No. 17) and Reliant Energy (No. 55) nearly doubled their revenues to catapult up the list, as did diversified energy companies like Enron (No. 7) and Dynegy (No. 54). (((Hear that, California?)))

'Of course, should energy prices fall, these companies will have a tough time hanging onto their new spots on the FORTUNE 500,' Clifford says. (((I'm looking forward to that day when they have a "tough time hanging.")))

(((High energy prices are quite good news for us anti- carbon enthusiasts, except for the fact that Exxon-Mobil are (a) corrupt denial freaks and (b) getting richer.)))

"On the flip side of the surge for energy companies, high oil prices increased the cost of doing business for most companies, and had a big impact on corporate profits last year. ((("Hey business community! Watch Exxon vault past you as they gouge you straight into the next recession.")))

"Five out of the top 15 companies made less money than they did in 1999. (((So much for the Bill Market, and those golden days of prosperity in the SUV rearview mirror.))) Profits rose overall by 8.4%, down significantly from last year's 28.7% growth. 

"Together, the FORTUNE 500 generated $7.2 trillion in sales (up more than 13% from last year), made $444 billion in profits, and employed 24 million people. No. 1 Exxon Mobil was the most profitable company, with profits rising 124% to $17.7 billion." (...)

(((You gotta hand it to the "faith-based protestors" over at Campaign Exxon-Mobil == they know how to pick on people their own size.)))

Source: Campaign ExxonMobil

"Financial Risk of Global Warming: Are ExxonMobil Shareholders Exposed?"

"Want to do something about corporate encroachment on democracy, and the unfair or abusive treatment of employees, communities and the environment (often while they promote themselves as generous, caring, environmentally-friendly and good corporate citizens)?

"Want to get together with and learn from experts and other activists successful in changing corporate behavior?

"From May 27 through May 30, 2001, activists and organizations from all over will come together in Dallas, Texas, to do just that at the 'Empowering Democracy: Challenging Corporate Power and Demanding Accountability' Conference and Day of Action. (((Dang, man... I bet they can say that whole thing in one breath! Through a megaphone.)))

"As corporate influence over the political process increases, it's becoming harder to achieve traditional solutions for mending environmental, social and other problems through legislative action. Campaigns to restrict the growing power of corporations or to reform or make them accountable to the public for their actions, called 'corporate accountability campaigns,' or simply 'corporate campaigns', are proving successful. Under pressure from such campaigns, Home Depot stopped carrying rainforest lumber, Ford and General Motors withdrew from the Global Climate Coalition, (((yay!))) companies divested from South Africa, and Nike and others are making strides towards eliminating the use of sweatshops. (((They're making strides in their Nikes, but hey, those are strides.)))

"Whether you are fighting a local corporate bully or a giant transnational corporation, ((((gimme the T-shirt))) you can learn effective skills, tactics and strategies needed to convince or require corporations to include social, environmental and labor concerns as part of their 'bottom line.' (((At the very least you can make their existence a living hell, which is just what ExxonMobil is industriously doing to the rest of us, now that I think of it.))) We can be much more effective and powerful if we join together in planning campaigns. You can do all that at our conference."

2001 Empowering Democracy Conference 6139 Stichter, Dallas, Texas, 75230-5000 (214) 369-6667, (Fax) 512 479-7645

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