Opinion: Defense of ExxonMobil was misguided

To the extreme minority of folks that are climate change deniers like the letter writer (Addison Independent, May 12, 2016, “Sorrell joins the ‘global warmists’”), they would have to be conspiracy theorists or lacking in knowledge to not understand the clear consensus that climate change is happening and that human activities are contributing greatly to it.
It is simply nonsensical to go against the various American scientific societies, national and international science academies, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the highly respected NASA and NOAA federal agencies, the 175 countries that signed the recent Paris climate change agreement, and ExxonMobil itself, who now acknowledges climate change risk after its climate change deception (as stated in an ExxonMobil 2014 report: “ExxonMobil takes the risk of climate change seriously, and continues to take meaningful steps to help address the risk and to ensure our facilities, operations and investments are managed with this risk in mind”).
But what really perplexes me is the letter writer’s rant at Vermont Attorney Gen. William Sorrell and other AGs for “shaking down” ExxonMobil. I understand what is purported, but we are talking about perhaps the most evil corporation in the history of Earth that has committed unimaginable disasters to our planet over decades, starting with more than 200,000 tons of oil spilled (including the infamous Exxon Valdez), refinery explosions, violating U.S. Clean Air Act regulations by emitting hazardous air pollutants above permitted limits — including benzene, toluene, propylene, ethylene, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hexane, methylene chloride, and other volatile organic compounds, the list goes on and on.
Bottom line: Attempting to make a highly dubious argument in defense of an evil fossil fuel company is just not going to win over many folks.
Wayne Michaud

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