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Break ExxonMobil's Thruway Stranglehold,
New York Groups Say

Oil Giant Stonewalls Consumer, Environmental Safeguards While Reaping Record Profits on Soaring Petroleum Prices

Press contact: Jon Coifman, 212-727-4535 or 917-575-1885

ALBANY (February 1, 2006) -- Consumer and environmental groups are calling on state regulators to end ExxonMobil's longstanding government-granted grip on 13 New York State Thruway fueling stations because of the company's longstanding negative track record toward motorists and the environment -- a record that sets the world's largest corporation apart from others in the oil industry. The lucrative five-year contracts to operate the stations are up for review and renewal this week. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and four other organizations made their appeal this week to John L. Buono, chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority. They also want to make sure that ExxonMobil does not wind up controlling the stations by way of a franchise operator, or as the supplier to another company. "ExxonMobil has gone out of its way time and again to distinguish itself from its competitors as the most anti-environmental oil company in the business. It's company policy, and we should not be rewarding it," said NRDC attorney Eric A. Goldstein. "Our message to the Thruway Authority is, 'Deliver us from Exxon.'"This week ExxonMobil has been downplaying its record-setting $36 billion profit for the year, a 40 percent increase over 2004, which also was a banner year. The company's total revenue in 2005 even exceeded the national income of Saudi Arabia, according to the New York Times. Among the concerns voiced by the groups about the company:

In addition to NRDC, groups calling on the Thruway Authority to break ExxonMobil's grip on New York motorists include the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG); Environmental Advocates; Riverkeeper; and the Atlantic chapter of the Sierra Club.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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