With the hottest October in world history recorded recently, a slew of advocacy groups have delivered 360,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for a probe of petrochemical industry giant ExxonMobil’s history of funding climate change denial despite what the company knew about climate science.
The groups ranging from 350.org, Food and Watch Watch, Climate Parents, Moms Clean Air Force, The Nation, Sierra Club and others have asked DOJ to investigate what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when the company knew it, juxtaposing that insider knowledge, exposed by both InsideClimate News and The Los Angeles Times, with the climate change denial campaign it funded both in the past and through to the present.
“That’s right: decades before climate change became a hotly debated political issue, the biggest oil company in the world was doing cutting-edge research into just what was causing it and how dangerous it might be,” reads the petition, pointing back to the research the company did on climate change dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s.
“But Exxon chose to protect their profits over the planet, and proceeded to cover up their findings for nearly forty years.,” it continues. “They hid the work of their own scientists, while financing an elaborate network of climate-denial think tanks, organizations, and politicians.”
“Might Get Away With It”
The petition also says that while it’s unsurprising ExxonMobil committed such a deed, what’s scary is that in the legal sphere “they just might get away with it.”
That concern by the groups does not arise out of a vacuum.
Case in point: coal giant Peabody Energy recently got off the hook in the aftermath of a New York State Attorney General Office investigation by merely amending some line-items in its corporate securities filings with the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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