Rockefeller’s made their fortune through oil is a drastic understatement. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and his company Standard Oil is the single purpose for laws against monopolies in America. At one point Rockefeller was providing 90% of America’s oil, and the way he rose to that status was not through moral actions. Through his price setting, secret deal making, blackmail, and general cheating, Rockefeller earned himself the attention of the United States Supreme Court on more than one occasion. This was no matter though, as John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in American history and will hold that title forever.
Though their oil was what gave them their power, the Rockefellers have gone on to bigger things since the 1800’s, and now four generations later, through the Rockefeller Foundation, the House of Rockefeller controls the American education system, the American Medical Association, which was John D.’s invention, and the American banking sector. When these people make a move this big the world would be wise to take watch.
The American family that for decades has been synonymous not just with great riches but with riches created by oil said that it was moving to divest itself entirely from all oil and fossil fuel interests.
Descendants of John D Rockefeller, who tapped the black gushers of Texas and California more than a century ago to forge Standard Oil, a company that was later to spawn such names as Exxon, Chevron, Amoco and Mobil, announced the decision on the eve of the climate change summit in New York.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund which holds investments totalling almost $900m (£550m), will join a growing movement that began on university campuses just a few years ago to liquidate all stakes in companies that can be tied to global warning.
And it will propel what was once America’s royal family of oil to the front ranks of the fight against climate change and the push for alternative energy sources such as wind, tidal and solar.
The Rockefeller Family Fund—the charity wing of the family that made a lot of money off of a business known as Standard oil—released a statement:
The Rockefeller Family Fund is proud to announce its intent to divest from fossil fuels. The process will be completed as quickly as possible, as we work around the complications of modern finance, which is increasingly dominated by alternative investments and hedge funds.
While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense—financially or ethically—to continue holding investments in these companies. There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons. The science and intent enunciated by the Paris agreement cannot be more clear: far from finding additional sources of fossil fuels, we must keep most of the already discovered reserves in the ground if there is any hope for human and natural ecosystems to survive and thrive in the decades ahead.
The statement goes on to talk about the embarrassing, “morally reprehensible”, behavior of Exxon Mobile and their concerted efforts, since the 1980s to confuse the public over the effects of fossil fuels in the acceleration of man made climate change.
The fund, which manages roughly $130 million, said it would immediately divest holdings of Exxon, as well as sell its investments in coal companies and tar sands-based oil producers.
Exxon, the world’s second-biggest company, is a descendant of Standard Oil, which was famously broken up in 1911 as part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “trustbusting” campaign.
Exxon Mobile had this to say:
“It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us,” Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Exxon, said in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch about the Rockefeller fund’s announcement.
There is no downplaying the fact fossil fuels are a problem to the earth and society and have been since the days of independent wildcatters, but the Rockefellers have been exploiting the entire world’s supply of fossil fuels for 150 years now, so we can be sure this isn’t an environmentally friendly decision on the family’s part. Money and power have had too much to do with all of their decisions in the past.
“There is something ironic about having all this wealth that was created in the oil industry now being used to move to a different energy future,” Mr Stephen Heintz fund’s chief administrator conceded. “The action we’re taking is symbolism, but it is important symbolism. We’re making a moral case, but also, increasingly, an economic case.”