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Environmental Hearing and Rally Shine Light on ExxonMobil’s Unhealthy Profits as Shareholders Meet in Dallas

May 23, 2008, Dallas, Texas -- An environmental hearing, news conferences, and a rally are scheduled this week in Dallas to bring awareness to how ExxonMobil, the largest energy company in the world, affects daily life around the world. ExxonMobil is responsible for extracting, refining and negotiating for the largest amount of fossil fuels in the world (visit dallaspeacecenter.org). That means they affect the air, water and a large amount of land necessary for human life. Several scientific studies have shown that there is an increase of respiratory illness, childhood leukemia and other types of cancer for people living near petrochemical facilities. The environmental hearing comes just a few weeks after the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) ranked ExxonMobil 10th on a list of worst U.S. corporate polluters in its latest “Toxic 100” report.

Josefina Mendoza, who will be testifying at the hearing on May 27, knows about the toxic effects of ExxonMobil’s refineries first hand. While living in an apartment complex across the street from an ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, Texas, her two-year-old son died mysteriously in his sleep. “He would cough when he goes outside,” she said. “I don’t have money to see a doctor.” Josefina said she and other family members had skin rashes and itching. Noxious odors were making apartment dwellers sick. Josefina’s family also experienced the raining of toxins and waste oil when an ExxonMobil tower erupted. Testimony also will be heard from other residents, community activists, and from Neil Carman, Clean Air director for Lone Star Sierra Club.

Confirmed attendees hearing the testimony include Byron Gipson, staff member for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson; State Representative; Ana Hernandez (Houston), chair of the Environmental Caucus for the State House of Representatives; and State Representative Lon Burnam (Fort Worth). On an economic and political level, the company has influence in decisions about where the world’s supply of fuel will come from and how much it costs. People in the United States and around the world are beginning to be impacted by these costs. It was reported this week that American Airlines laid off 1,000 workers due to the higher prices of fuel.

Consumers for Peace and other members of the Exxon Enough! Coalition will offer evidence of
ExxonMobil’s responsibility for higher cost of fuel and profiting from the Iraq War at the rally in front of the Meyerson Symphony Center as shareholders arrive for Exxon Mobil Shareholders’ Annual Meeting. “Out of every $100 you pay at the pump, about $12.50 is because of the Iraq War,” says Nick Mottern, Director of Consumers for Peace.org, “Americans are being told everything about why gasoline prices are so high except that the Iraq War is helping to ramp up the world oil price by limiting oil production from Iraq and by creating fear that the violence will spread, perhaps in Iran, further disrupting oil shipments.”

Schedule of Events
Tuesday, May 27
At Munger Place United Methodist Church, 5200 Bryan St., Dallas
11:00 a.m. – News Conference
Noon – Light Lunch provided
1:00 p.m. – Environmental Justice Hearing: Panelists include Hilton Kelley, Founder and CEO,
Community In-power & Development Association Inc., Coordinator of the Southeast Texas Bucket Brigade, and Mobile Community Outreach Director for Coming Clean Collaborative; Neil Carman, Clean Air Director, Lone Star Sierra Club.with a background in chemistry, molecular biology and genetics; Josefina Mendoza, resident of Archia Courts Apartments near ExxonMobil refinery; Rev. Roy Malveaux, pastor of the Shining Star Missionary Baptist Church, Beaumont, TX, and past president of People Against Contaminated Environment (PACE); and Juan Parras, founder of TEJAS (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service) and outreach coordinator for, Citizens League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN).

Wednesday, May 28

In front of the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., Dallas
8:00 a.m. – The War Profiteering/Global Warming News Conference: A news conference will be held on Iraq war-profiteering, ExxonMobil’s dangerous goal in Iraq, excess profits and high gas prices; and on ExxonMobil’s lack of investment in clean renewable energy the morning of the ExxonMobil shareholders’ meeting.

Speakers will include Ron Woods, executive director of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Nick Mottern, director of ConsumersforPeace.org: Rev. L. Charles Stovall, pastor of Munger Place United Methodist Church; Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against War; and Hilton Kelley, Rev. Roy Malveaux and Juan Parras from the Texas Gulf region.

Meanwhile – The entire coalition, victims of refinery pollution and high cost of gas, as well as all in favor of ending war will gather with banners to loudly voice objections to the way ExxonMobil is doing business.

Valley Reed, 214-288-8935, valley@dallaspeacecenter.org
Vicki Wolf, 214-354-5977, vicki@vickiwolf.com
Trish Major, 214-823-7793, admin@dallaspeacecenter.org
Website: www.dallaspeacecenter.org/Exxon
Source: Dallas Peace Center

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