Now that Exxon is being investigated for their climate cover-up, it's time for lawmakers to give back all the dirty-denier campaign donations. Click here to tell lawmakers. "This holiday season you must, Thanks-Give-It-Back to Exxon."
I'm sure you know the old saying, "If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas." In the case of Exxon, we think that means politicians who accepts their dirty denier cash, risk being painted as climate killers. Reports reveal that even though Exxon knew about the real dangers of climate change for nearly 40 years,1 and could have acted to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions, they chose to embark on a climate denial scheme including funding climate denying politicians and think tanks to the tune of $30 million.2
So the question you have to ask yourself is why would any politician want to be affiliated with a corporation who is under investigation for lying to the American people and putting our planet in peril? And yet, the fact is that the top Senate recipients of Exxon's dirty denier cash have not said anything about bringing climate deniers to justice -- not even the ones who received top marks from our friends at League of Conservation Voters.3
All senators should distance themselves from Exxon's dangerous dishonesty. But six Democrats, who we're calling "The Exxon Bunch," particularly need to prove their leadership on climate and justice by doing one thing -- this holiday season they can Thanks-Give-It-Back to Exxon and show once and for all that climate denying cash has no place in our politics. Click here to make sure the "Exxon Bunch," and every senator, gets this message.
If there's a silver lining to Exxon's climate cover-up, it's that public pressure is growing for Exxon to be brought to justice.4 New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has already served them with subpoenas,5 and climate champs in Congress are calling on the Department of Justice to do the same. So why are the Exxon bunch (and a lot of their Senate Colleagues) silent on the need for Exxon to be held accountable?
It's not like this would be the first time that politicians on both side of the aisle have given back or refused to take money from corporations who've acted against the public interest. Former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) pledged not to accept any money from Big Tobacco saying, "Tobacco money became a big question. I didn't want to spend time explaining why I take it."6 Congressman Charles Gonzales (D-TX) likewise refused money from BP after the gulf oil spill.7 And more recently, when Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) learned their presidential campaigns had accepted money from a white supremacist, they quickly returned the funds.8
The situation with Exxon shouldn't be different. And for some lawmakers, like Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Al Franken (D-MN), the contribution amounts are so small9 they should be a drop in a bucket to a U.S. Senator. But regardless of size, no politician should accept money from Exxon right now. This corporation has misled the public, polluted communities with oil spills and withheld vital information on the the true risks of climate change when we needed it most.
This is the season for giving. But for the Exxon Bunch and every senator, it's the season to give back tainted money. That's why I need you to let your senators know it's time to Thanks-Give-It-Back, or risk being another Jive Turkey, just like Exxon. Click here to make sure they get the message.
Thanks for taking action,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Thanks-Give-It-Back Board of Directors
1- BanerJee, Neela, Song, Lisa and Hasmeyer, David. Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago. InsideClimate News. September 16, 2015.
2- Goldenberg, Suzanne. ExxonMobil Gave Millions to Climate-Denying Lawmakers Despite Pledge. The Guardian. July 15, 2015.
3- League of Conservation Voters: 2014 Scorecard
4- Rogers-Wright, Anthony. Bringing Exxon to Justice. Environmental Action. November 21, 2015.
5- Gillis, Justin and Krauss, Clifford. Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General. New York Times. November 5, 2015.
6- Marcus, Ruth and Connolly, Ceci. Big Tobacco Filters Into Campaign Coffers. The Washington Post. May 8, 1998.
7- Bolton, Alexander. A Year After Spill, BP Gives Political Contributions to Republican Leaders. The Hill. April 19, 2011.
8- The Washington Post. Campaigns Distance Themselves From White Supremacist Leaders' Donations. June 22, 2015.
9- Center For Responsive Politics: Exxon 2014 Federal Contributions