Exxon Mobil and Chevron’s unwillingness to venture beyond their core oil and gas business will face a test Wednesday when shareholders vote on climate change proposals at both oil companies’ annual meetings.
The U.S. oil majors have typically enjoyed an easier ride from investors on environmental issues compared with their European rivals. But pressure is building from some investment managers, especially after Royal Dutch Shell and BP recently made significant shifts to address investor concerns.
“I don’t think they’re doing nearly as much as the majors in Europe are,” said Brian Rice, a fund manager at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which manages about $230 billion including Exxon and Chevron shares. “Alternative energy, to me that’s the future.”