ExxonMobil is digging its heels right into a battle with activist traders who tried to hurry up the oil big’s local weather change commitments, and it seems Exxon has sympathizers in a number of the U.S.’s greatest enterprise lobbying teams.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit Enterprise Roundtable group filed an amicus transient Wednesday in assist of Exxon, arguing that the Securities and Change Fee (SEC) is just too permissive of shareholder speech. In different phrases: Simply because an investor on the annual assembly desires to ask to the corporate to do one thing, they shouldn’t have the ability to actually ask.

“By opening the door to shareholder proposals pushing social and political agendas, the SEC has allowed a subset of activists to commandeer company proxy statements for their very own parochial ends,” the transient reads. It comes as Exxon doesn’t need to let activists quietly dismiss the decision that began this all.

What had been the activist traders arguing?

In December, the activist traders — Dutch-based collective Observe This and the U.S.-based Arjuna Capital — wished Exxon to step up its 2050 web zero dedication to preventing not simply its personal emissions however these of its prospects as properly, and put the matter up for a proxy vote (Observe This made similar proposals in 2022 and 2023 that shareholders overwhelmingly voted down in each instances). In January, Exxon sued them to drop the matter, the primary time in historical past an organization had sued to dam a shareholder decision. Arjuna and Observe This begrudgingly obliged and dropped the resolution earlier this month.

When the teams dropped their proxy battle, Arjuna chief funding officer Natasha Lamb stated in a press release that “not solely is the corporate side-stepping a vital company accountability mechanism that has upheld shareholder freedoms for many years; this quantities to ways of intimidation and bullying.”

However when the teams filed a movement to dismiss Exxon’s swimsuit in a Texas federal courtroom, Exxon requested the choose to disclaim the movement as a result of Arjuna and Observe This had been waging a “perennial marketing campaign of selling their social agenda by shareholder proposals to ExxonMobil that search to micromanage its enterprise and coordinating with others to do the identical.”

Exxon desires the choose to inform the teams they’ll’t submit related proxy statements ever once more. Shut up perpetually, primarily. And now the collective voice of company America is becoming a member of in to say: Yeah, shut up.

“These proposals are costly and time-consuming to deal with, and they’re hardly ever designed to advertise general shareholder worth,” Exxon stated in its criticism. “As a substitute, they’re ceaselessly at odds with the pursuits of traders who’re in search of to acquire returns.”


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