By. JACK M.
ExxonMobil is one of the world’s largest oil companies – perhaps the largest – with annual sales in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The energy behemoth has been accused of misleading its shareholders and the world about the dangers of climate change and global warming. And it’s being doing this for more than 30 years.
In an open letter to the United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and signed by a veritable who’s who of environmental organizations and concerned citizens – including Greenpeace, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and James Hansen, to name just a few – ExxonMobil has been accused of not only concealing knowledge and evidence of the negative effects of its products on the climate change of our planet, but of paying off so-called “experts” to act as a collective mouthpiece for the oil giant’s own greedy and nefarious ends. And evidence of Exxon’s subversive activities goes back nearly four decades.
This is a copy of that letter:
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
As leaders of some of the nation’s environmental, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups, we’re writing to ask that you initiate a federal probe into the conduct of ExxonMobil. New revelations in the Los Angeles Times and the Pulitzer-prize-winning InsideClimate News strongly suggest that the corporation knew about the dangers of climate change even as it funded efforts at climate denial and systematically misled the public.
Given the damage that has already occurred from climate change—particularly in the poorest communities of our nation and our planet—and that will certainly occur going forward, these revelations should be viewed with the utmost apprehension. They are reminiscent—though potentially much greater in scale—than similar revelations about the tobacco industry.
These journalists have provided a remarkable roadmap to this corporation’s potential misconduct. We would ask that you follow that map wherever it may lead, employing all the tools at your disposal to uncover the truth.
But that was just the beginning of what has become a tidal wave of public outcry. Congressman Ted Lieu, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Martin O’Malley and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are all not just asking, they’re demanding, that Exxon and its directors and top executives be taken to task.
Based on a recently-discovered company email, and on a series of recent articles in The New York Times, The Guardian and EcoWatch, ExxonMobil – the company that created one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters in history, the Exxon Valdez oil spill – has been accused of being aware of the effects of fossil fuels on the environment as far back as 1981. But rather than do the right thing, the company’s executives chose to not only hide the evidence from the public debate, they chose to spend tens of millions of dollars on turning the topic upside down by hiring the services of a small army of climate change deniers, right-wing think tanks, PR firms and, perhaps most odious, government lobbyists to do its dirty work. And for what? To make more money and fatten the bottom line.
To this day, according to EcoWatch, ExxonMobil is still using the services of organizations like the American Enterprise Institute and the Manhattan Institute to cover its own ass and dispel disinformation, and the company’s actions have been likened to those of the tobacco industry’s denial of the link between its products and cancer.
The company that created one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters in history, the Exxon Valdez oil spill – has been accused of being aware of the effects of fossil fuels on the environment as far back as 1981.
The lawsuits and inquiries that will follow will certainly take some time to unfold, but the damage to the fossil fuel industry’s reputation will be permanent, and its dirty little secret will remain in the public memory for a long, long time.