Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
Protesters demanded more government oversight and accountability at Exxon Mobil Corp's annual shareholders meeting in Dallas Wednesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp's annual shareholders meeting, which is underway at Dallas' Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, was targeted Wednesday by protesters demanding more government oversight and accountability.
Police officers on foot, bike and Segway patrols were on hand to keep the peace, but officers said there have been no problems. Only credentialed shareholders of Irving-based Exxon Mobil were allowed past the row of barricades into the Symphony Center.
“People and the environment are suffering because of their practices, and they can do better,” said Molly Rook with the Dallas Sierra Club. “The air emissions are sickening people, they have toxic air emissions.”
There were about 20 protesters from various environmental and climate change organizations, including the Dallas Sierra Club and the Texas Coalition for the Environment. Most of them held signs and dressed up in costume to mock Exxon Mobil's board of directors.
Many of the signs had messages like “Arrest Exxon” and “Frack Off, Exxon.” Protesters said they were there to fight for reduced greenhouse emissions and an end to hydraulic fracturing wells, which, they say, are a growing problem in North Texas.
“Methane emissions [from the wells] are contributing to climate change. Lots of people who have gotten active here in the North Texas area have become active because they personally, or their families, have been sickened by this. We’re talking the headaches, the nosebleeds, the nausea,” Rook said.
According to Exxon Mobil’s proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, shareholders will vote on new goals to lower greenhouse gas emissions for the coming year.