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Obama calls for offshore drilling in Southeast

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday outlined a politically fraught plan for allowing oil and gas drilling offshore along parts of the Atlantic coast while imposing new restrictions on environmentally fragile waters off northern Alaska.

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Two from Fort Worth appointed by Gov. Abbott to university boards

Steve Hicks, a University of Texas System regent who has been a vocal opponent of regents who have criticized the system’s flagship campus in Austin, was reappointed to the board by Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. 

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Museum District: Area’s evolution creating more interaction, public spaces

Fifteen years ago if someone had shot a cannon from Fort Worth’s world-renowned museum district, nobody would have noticed, joked Lori Eklund, senior deputy director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. But that has changed.

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Energy Transfer Partners, Regency Energy announce $18B merger

Energy Transfer Partners LP of Dallas and Regency Energy Partners LP have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

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American Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner arrives at D/FW

American is preparing the plane to begin service sometime in the second quarter.

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Exxon shareholders reject climate change, other proposals

DAVID KOENIG,AP Business Writer

 

 


DALLAS (AP) — The CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. says there's no quick replacement for oil, and sharply cutting oil's use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would make it harder to lift 2 billion people out of poverty.

"What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?" CEO Rex Tillerson said at the oil giant's annual meeting Wednesday.

Tillerson jousted with environmental activists who proposed that the company set goals to reduce emissions from its products and operations.

Shareholders sided with the company and voted nearly 3-to-1 to reject the proposal.

By a 4-to-1 ratio, shareholders defeated a resolution to explicitly ban discrimination against gays. The Exxon board had argued that the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn't need to add language regarding gays.

Both votes were repeats of recent years in which shareholders rejected anti-bias and climate change resolutions.

Since Tillerson replaced Lee Raymond as CEO in 2006, Exxon has softened the tone of its public comments but not its skepticism about climate change. Tillerson said that in the past decade the average temperature "hasn't really changed," and he repeated his optimism that technology will provide a plan for dealing with climate change.

The average global temperature rose one quarter of a degree Fahrenheit from the 10 years that ended in 2002 to the decade that ended in 2012, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However, the decade of 2000-2009 was the hottest on record, and nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2001.

Activists argued that climate change will result in more severe weather. Patricia Daley, a member of the New Jersey-based group of Dominican nuns that proposed the climate-change resolution, cited last year's East Coast hurricane.

"I had to evacuate a lot of old nuns because of Superstorm Sandy," Daley said. She said that with rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, "we're in desperate territory right now."

Exxon is tapping tar-sands oil in Canada and using hydraulic fracturing to boost U.S. production of natural gas. Environmentalists said that both practices add to greenhouse gas emissions and said Exxon should invest more to develop wind, solar and geothermal energy. The company has made forays into alternative energy sources but argues that the world will be dependent on oil for decades.

The ban on bias based on sexual orientation was proposed by a retirement fund for New York state employees. George Wong, an official for the New York comptroller's office, said the lack of specific protection for gays hurt the company's ability to recruit employees from the widest pool of talent.

Wong said Exxon discriminates by refusing to extend spousal benefits to employees who marry a gay partner in New York, where same-sex marriage is legal.

Exxon's annual meeting once drew dozens of protesters from environmental and human-rights groups, but there was only a lone demonstrator outside as the meeting began Wednesday in an ornate symphony hall. Inside, there were few sparks or angry exchanges. The characters have become familiar to each other. After Daley finished speaking, Tillerson said from the stage, "Thank you, Sister Pat."

Exxon Mobil is coming off its second-biggest profit ever, having earned $44.9 billion in 2012.

The shares rose 2 percent last year, the same as rival Chevron Corp. This year, through Tuesday, Exxon shares had gained 7 percent while Chevron shares had risen 17 percent.

Exxon shares fell 30 cents to $92.08 in trading Wednesday. They were still near the high end of their 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.


 

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