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[greenyes] Climate Disruption- Exxon's Role in Bush Decisions Documented


Revealed: how oil giant influenced Bush

White House sought advice from Exxon on Kyoto stance

John Vidal, environment editor

President's George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the
Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil,
the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US
State Department papers seen by the Guardian.

The documents, which emerged as Tony Blair visited the White House for
discussions on climate change before next month's G8 meeting, reinforce
widely-held suspicions of how close the company is to the administration and
its role in helping to formulate US policy.

In briefing papers given before meetings to the US under-secretary of state,
Paula Dobriansky, between 2001 and 2004, the administration is found
thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping
to determine climate change policy, and also seeking its advice on what
climate change policies the company might find acceptable.

Other papers suggest that Ms Dobriansky should sound out Exxon executives
and other anti-Kyoto business groups on potential alternatives to Kyoto.
Until now Exxon has publicly maintained that it had no involvement in the US
government's rejection of Kyoto. But the documents, obtained by Greenpeace
under US freedom of information legislation, suggest this is not the case.

"Potus [president of the United States] rejected Kyoto in part based on
input from you [the Global Climate Coalition]," says one briefing note
before Ms Dobriansky's meeting with the GCC, the main anti-Kyoto US industry
group, which was dominated by Exxon.

The papers further state that the White House considered Exxon "among the
companies most actively and prominently opposed to binding approaches [like
Kyoto] to cut greenhouse gas emissions".

But in evidence to the UK House of Lords science and technology committee in
2003, Exxon's head of public affairs, Nick Thomas, said: "I think we can say
categorically we have not campaigned with the United States government or
any other government to take any sort of position over Kyoto."

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