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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Members of the Rockefeller family are calling on Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) to make corporate governance changes and adopt a renewable fuels strategy to help address the soaring cost of energy.
John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Co in 1870, which was a precursor to Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded oil company based on market capitalization, and is a favorite target of consumer advocate groups and politicians unhappy with record prices for oil and gas and its effects on the environment.
Fifteen descendants of the oil baron are involved in four shareholder resolutions seeking changes at Exxon, including dividing the CEO and chairmanship positions.
They also seek to establish a task force study of the consequences of global warning on poor economies, called on Exxon to reduce greenhouse gas emission at its own operations and adopt a renewable energy policy.
Exxon is "profiting in the short term from investments and decisions made many years ago by focusing on the narrow path that ignores the rapidly shifting energy landscape around the world, including developing nations," said Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, great granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.
Goodwin called on Exxon to reconnect with the forward-looking vision of her great grandfather.
"Kerosene was the alternative energy of its day when he realized it could replace whale oil. Part of John D. Rockefeller's genius was in recognizing early the need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner fuel."
Exxon's annual meeting is scheduled for May 28
It is unclear how many shares the Rockefeller family controls. Exxon was able to identify 12 of the 15 Rockefellers associated with the shareholder resolution and said they collectively own around 332,000 of the company's 5.4 billion shares -- or about 0.006 percent of outstanding shares.