Sunday, May 4, 2008

The First Family of Oil

Okay, I admit it. Until I learned it today, I did not know that John D. Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil.

The Rockefeller name is synonymous with wealth and power and America. Of course it's oil.

Standard Oil Trust Certificate 1896

On NPR this week, Rockefeller great-grand daughter, Neva Rockefeller Goodwin talked about how many members of the family are wanting to push the company -- now Exxon -- to "go green." Goodwin is an economist and professor at Tufts -- she's pushing for changes in the board and in practice.

"There are some pretty scary things happening in the world," she said. "We worry about corporations who don't seem to get it -- we have a particular interest in this corporation because we are so closely allied with it ... it is a major contributor to the income of our family."

"To some extent we feel responsible ... we feel close to it; we care about it."

Well ... yeah. On the other hand, we are all really close to it. Every one of us.

In Washington, John D. Rockefeller IV, Jay, is also pushing for change...
This from a Thursday press release on his website:

Rockefeller’s legislation to provide temporary, immediate relief is modeled after the successful Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which has helped working families and seniors cope with home heating costs. Rockefeller’s bill would give grants to states to provide checks to people who drive 30 miles a day (or an average of 150 miles a week) for work, education, or scheduled routine health care. Eligible families who meet income guidelines similar to those in LIHEAP (in West Virginia, it’s up to 130% of poverty or $26,845 annual income for a family of four) would receive monthly checks of $100 to $165 to help cover gas costs.


As Rockefeller noted, “These companies are making huge, unconscionable profits off the hard-working people in my state, and it must be stopped.”

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