Lee Wasserman is Director of the Rockefeller Family Fund.
 (December 2016)

IN THE REVIEW

The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil

A plant owned by Syncrude, a joint venture of ExxonMobil’s Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil, which processes oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta, Canada’s biggest source of carbon emissions and the US’s largest source of imported oil; photograph by Garth Lenz from his traveling exhibition ‘The True Cost of Oil’

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

by Steve Coll
Just as the tobacco industry gained decades of huge profits by obfuscating the dangers of smoking, the oil industry secured decades of profits—in Exxon’s case, some of the largest profits of any corporation in history—by helping to create a fake controversy over climate science that deceived and victimized many policymakers, as well as much of the public.

The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon

Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, at the World Gas Conference, Paris, June 2015

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

by Steve Coll
Large oil companies must possess considerable scientific expertise. In that respect as in others, Exxon has always been an industry leader: the company today says it employs about 16,000 scientists and engineers. So it is no surprise that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Exxon scientists largely understood climate change—not only its basic mechanism but many of its implications, including its potential implications for the oil business—and had explained it to the company’s leaders.