It's official, the FBI is now investigating what Exxon Knew about climate change, but kept from the world. So far, though, the Department Of Justice is staying out of it. Sign here to tell Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take personal charge of the FBI investigation and bring Exxon to justice!
The U.S. Justice Department just forwarded a request from two congressmen seeking a federal probe of ExxonMobil to the FBI's criminal division.1
This is a big deal for our #ExxonKnew campaign, because the FBI is the investigative arm of the Department of Justice (DOJ). But there's still a lot we don't know about what the FBI is investigating or whether DOJ will proceed.
If we want a full, thorough airing of what Exxon and Big Oil knew about climate change, when they knew it and whether they violated federal laws with their climate cover up, we need the United States Attorney General (AG) to step in and direct this investigation. Can you sign and share the news about this FBI probe to help remind AG Lynch to bring Exxon to justice?
Exxon and their lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute have been under fire for months following a series of investigative reports by LA Times and InsideClimate News that revealed Exxon executives and researchers knew about the risks of global warming as early as 1977. But instead of telling the world or working for clean energy solutions, Exxon and their allies spent decades funding a massive climate cover up designed to confuse and mislead the public, and potentially their investors, regulators and Congress itself.2
The request by Representatives Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier that kicked off this FBI investigation is only one of a number of calls for accountability, including appeals by both Democratic presidential candidates.3 Exxon is also under investigation by New York AG Eric Schneiderman and California AG Kamala Harris, and we're part of a coalition of 50 environmental, civil rights and indigenous people's groups urging US AG Lynch and all 50 state AGs to open investigations into whether ExxonMobil purposefully misled the American people on climate change.4
All of which is to say, our campaign is working! But according to Sharon Eubanks, a former DOJ attorney who won a similar case against the tobacco industry in 2006, said the FBI has tremendous discretion, and not a lot of direction in this case so far. "It would have been much more powerful had the Justice Department said it was asking for an investigation," she said.1
Exxon must hate the news that they're under FBI investigation. But to get the details on that investigation, and drag their climate cover up into the white hot spotlight of public attention, we need Loretta Lynch to step in and give this matter her full attention. Sign here to tell AG Lynch to bring Exxon to Justice!
Drew and the Climate Justice Crew at Environmental Action
1 - Hasemyer, David. Justice Department Refers Exxon Investigation Request to FBI. InsideClimateNews. March 2, 2016
2 - Banerjee, Neela, Song, Lisa and Hasemyer, David. Exxon: The Road Not Taken. InsideClimateNews. September 16, 2015.
- Amy Lieberman and Susanne Rust, Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations, The LA Times, December 31, 2015
3 - Laura Barron-Lopez, Bernie Sanders Wants DOJ To Investigate 'Potential Fraud' By Exxon Over Climate Research, The Huffington Post, October 20, 2015.
4 - Page, Samantha. California's Attorney General is Now Investigating Exxon. ThinkProgress. January 20, 2016