Update: Last week over 300,000 of us demanded an investigation into whether Exxon broke the law when they lied about climate change. So far, only NY's Eric Schniederman has responded. It's time for the Attorney General (AG) of our biggest state, California's Kamala Harris, to follow suit. Tell AG Kamala Harris it's time to make Exxon toast from coast to coast.
When InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times exposed Exxon's climate cover-up,1 many people were not that surprised. After all, Exxon's whole business model is about emitting as much global warming pollution into our climate as possible. But just because we weren't shocked doesn't mean that Exxon's scheme was morally justified, or that it was legal. That decision needs to be made by our top law-enforcement agencies, most importantly our Attorneys General.
The good news is pressure is building on our lawmakers to deliver justice. Last week we delivered more than 300,000 signatures (including 50,000 of yours) to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation from AG Loretta Lynch.2 Our case is stronger since last month New York's AG, Eric Schneiderman, served Exxon with subpoenas to determine if they misled the public when instead of revealing what they knew about climate change, they embarked on a campaign of climate denial by funding think tanks like the Heritage Foundation.3
But we can't stop there if we're going to get the justice we deserve. Last week we learned that California's AG, Kamala Harris, has the authority to investigate Exxon under the same laws she has used to prosecute subprime mortgage lenders.4 If we can get the AG of our biggest state to join New York in opening an investigation, it will make it impossible for Exxon to evade us and justice. Click here to tell AG Kamala Harris to throw the book at Exxon, and make them toast from coast to coast for lying about climate change.
Californians don't need anyone to tell them about the realities and consequences of climate change. Last year California Governor Jerry Brown discussed the state's historic drought from the snow-less Sierra Nevada mountains.5 The drought is so bad, black balls are being placed in reservoirs to slow evaporation.6 It's also responsible for historic wildfires that have claimed over seven million acres of land in one year.7 The idea of a Big Oil corporation hiding the truth and putting the lives of Californians at risk just to make a buck should raise a level of outrage in the state's elected leaders that burns hotter than a wildfire.
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) was very clear about what constitutes a crime when he said, "misleading or omitting facts is a violation of securities law."2 Based on this understanding, an investigation into Exxon is not only warranted, but also the duty of California's top cop.
Last year I attended the largest climate awareness rally in California history, the March for Real Climate Leadership.8 Participants had a clear message for state lawmakers, "we want climate champions to act on climate." Kamala Harris, who is also running to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate, can show that she hears these calls by investigating Exxon. Click here to make sure she gets the message.
Thanks for sounding off,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Exxon Knew Crew
1. Jerving, Sara, Jennings, Kate, Melissa Hirsh, Masako and Rust, Susanne. What Exxon Knew About the Earth's Melting Arctic. The Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2015.
2. Rogers-Wright, Anthony. Bringing Exxon to Justice. Environmental Action. November 21, 2015.
3. Gillis, Justin and Krauss, Clifford. Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General. November 5, 2015.
4. Hasemyer, David. California Attorney Urged to Investigate Exxon Over Climate. InsideClimate News. November 20, 2015.
5. Morin, Monte. Sierra Nevada Snowpack is Much Worse Than Thought: A 500-Year Low. The Los Angeles Times. September 14, 2015.
6. Howard, Brian Clark. Why did LA Drop 96 Million 'Shade Balls' Into Its Water? National Geographic. August 12, 2015.
7. Ford, Matt. The West's Wildfire Season Gets Worse. The Atlantic. August 22, 2015.
8. Rogers-Wright, Anthony. Calfractivation: The Video. Environmental Action. February 23, 2015.