Exxon Mobil Partnership Proves Costly for Stanford

"Exxon Mobil has teamed up with Stanford University to find breakthrough technologies that deliver more energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," enthuses a TV commercial by the oil giant. Under Exxon Mobil's partnership with Stanford, first announced in 2002, the university "will get up to $100 million from the company over 10 years to fund climate and energy research." After seeing the ads, major Stanford donor Steve Bing "decided to rescind a promised $2.5 million donation to the school." He is also "asking other major philanthropists to reconsider their promises to give to the Stanford cause," and is pushing for "an end to the 4-year-old ad campaign." Bing's advisor on climate issues said, "Exxon Mobil is trying to greenwash itself, and it's using Stanford as its brush." A Stanford spokesperson countered, "We are proud of our work on seeking solutions to serious energy and environmental problems and our collaborations in these areas with a variety of private and non-profit organizations." An earlier Exxon print ad, carrying the Stanford seal, "suggested that scientists were debating the cause of global warming."