There are those in the world who hate, hate, hate corporations. They blame them for every problem from the wealth disparity, racism and money in politics, to murder, climate change and destroying the entire world. Exxon is one of the prime targets.
Of course, what Exxon does is extract a valuable and necessary resource from the ground so that society can provide heat and light, transportation, farm and transport food, build buildings, manufacture products, and keep the entire economy running. But really, they produce oil and gas.
In return for supporting our society and way of life, they are viciously attacked by political groups and the media.
In some ways, it is like they are being besieged by an army of Mongols. Their attacks will only be satisfied when Exxon, like a weak city, falls and they can raid it for all of its gold and resources (and murder its leaders in a gruesome and public fashion.)
By attempting to play nice with their attackers, Exxon engaged in activity akin to feeding those besieging the city. They donated to their causes, and the causes used the money to arm themselves for a fresh attack.
Now the invading army has constructed the Trebuchet called "RICO", and hopes to destroy Exxon by prosecuting them for lying about climate change. I won't even try to discuss the merits of their case, as this is not a rational attack; rather, it is a religious war based on the commandment that all corporations are evil, and those producing natural resources should be killed.
The funny thing is that unlike tobacco, there are no damages. There is not a single loss that can be attributed to climate change. But even if there were, Exxon did not put any carbon into the atmosphere. They extracted oil; however the people who are attacking them are the ones who turned it into CO2.
I am not talking about cars and home heating here. Every person in the USA lives a life completely supported by fossil fuels. Every building was built with oil, gas and coal. All food is planted, harvested, transported, packaged and prepared with them.
Every product in their homes from the toothbrush to their shoes are made with oil byproducts, manufactured with their energy, transported, sold and maintained with oil and gas.
Even the computers and servers on which they publish their bilious screeds against oil companies are run on fossil fuels. If they would like to eliminate oil companies, they had better prepare for a very uncomfortable 18th century lifestyle. Otherwise they are hypocrites, much like the cocaine addict who complains that those farming cocoa leaves in South America are the true evil doers.
Not that any of this reasoning will help Exxon if the politicians agree to go after them. But then, perhaps this is partly their fault. Rather than fighting back, they tried to placate those who attacked them. They knew that the climate models didn't work. Heck, with the pause in global warming at almost 19 years, and ALL climate models deviating horribly, everyone know the models are total garbage.
But having tried to make everyone happy, they just strengthened and encouraged their enemies. The barbarians are now at the gate ready to rape and pillage. It is probably time for Exon to get a spine and defend itself.