ExxonMobil Cuts Back Its Funding for Climate Skeptics

A big backer of skeptics may be slowly bowing out

3 min read

8 July 2008--ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded company, recently said it would stop funding a number of groups that are skeptical of climate change. But this is not the first time ExxonMobil has made such a commitment, prompting questions about its sincerity. The company's critics have long accused it of sponsoring a disinformation campaign that portrayed climate scientists as much more divided about global warming than they really are.

According to a 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, between 1998 and 2005, Exxon gave US $16 million to organizations skeptical of climate change. Exxon also headed a task force whose goal was to manufacture doubt about global warming.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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