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Expand chart
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

A very public battle is raging over how ExxonMobil should face questions about long-term oil demand and prepare for a carbon-constrained world.

Driving the news: Investment group Engine No. 1, which is nominating board members it says are equipped to deal with these dynamics, this week gained new support.

  • Two huge pension funds — California Public Employees' Retirement System and the New York State Common Retirement Fund — have thrown their weight behind it.
  • It adds to prior backing from the California State Teachers' Retirement System, so now, per Pensions & Investments, the country's three largest pension funds back the effort.

Why it matters: The unusually high-profile shareholder battle is something of a microcosm of larger questions about the future of Big Oil.

  • But it's also specific to Exxon, one of the world's most powerful companies, which has not sought to diversify as widely as its European peers (though oil-and-gas remains the dominant business for all of them).

What they're saying: Engine No. 1, in an 81-page presentation posted this week, says Exxon has "significantly underperformed and has failed to adjust its strategy to enhance long-term value."

  • The slide deck argues that Exxon has long lagged behind its Big Oil peers by multiple metrics of investor returns.

The other side: Exxon, which has seen significant share price recovery over the last six months, has been striking back against the claims that it's poorly positioned and underperforming.

  • Exxon yesterday posted its own detailed slide deck laying out the case for why its strategy will provide long-term value.
  • It's the latest of recent moves including new board additions and vowing new emissions intensity cuts.
  • The presentation delves into its investments in carbon capture while arguing that Exxon is well-poised to deliver strong returns in oil-and-gas, which it notes will remain immense markets for decades despite low-carbon energy growth.
  • And one of its new board members, Jeff Ubben, defended Exxon's climate strategy in an interview with the Financial Times.

What's next: It comes to a head at Exxon's May 26 shareholder meeting. Reuters reports that the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, which has pushed Exxon to change its approach, now intends to vote with the company.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

The Olympic events to watch today

U.S. diver Krysten Palmer. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

5 events to watch today...
  • 🏃 Track & Field: Watch the men’s 100m final at 8:50 a.m. ET on nbcolympics.com
  • 🏐 Men’s volleyball: USA plays Argentina in the group stage at 8:45 a.m. on NBC.
  • 🤸 Gymnastics event finals: Watch the replay of the men's floor exercise and pommel horse, as well as the women's vault and uneven bars starting at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
  • 🤽Men's water polo: USA takes on Greece in group play at 10:30 p.m. ET on CNBC.
  • 🏊Women's springboard final: Watch the replay tonight on NBC.

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 9 highlights

Team USA's Ryan Murphy, Zach Apple, Michael Andrew and Caeleb Dressel celebrate winning gold in the final of the men's 4x100m medley relay swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Aug. 1. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Day nine of the Tokyo Olympic Games Sunday saw the final day of swimming competition end with a historic win for Team USA.

The big picture: The U.S. men's 4x100-meter medley relay team set a new record world as they won the final and Caeleb Dressel earned a fifth gold — becoming the fifth American to do so. Team USA's Bobby Finke won the 1,500-meter freestyle.

Trump PACs raise over $82M for first half of 2021

Former President Trump during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Trump's political action committees (PACs) raised more than $82 million in the first half of 2021, per Federal Election Commission filings published on Saturday.

Why it matters: It's a significant amount for a former president who's been banned from major social media platforms. It demonstrates his ability to raise huge sums of money should he choose to run for the presidency for a third time.