Urgent: Last week Representative Lamar Smith subpoenaed two Attorneys General as well as climate groups like 350, Greenpeace and more. Smith accuses our friends of violating Exxon's rights for exposing the Big Oil's climate cover-up. Sign here to tell Rep. Smith you stand with the #ExxonKnew Crew and that our resistance will not be intimidated.
My mother used to tell me that when it comes to speaking out about justice, "if the oppressor is coming after you, it means you're saying and doing the right thing." This couldn't be more true for our friends and allies who have been working to hold Exxon accountable for their climate cover-up.
We're part of a big coalition of green groups like 350.org, Greenpeace USA and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) that are supporting investigations by Several State Attorney's General (AGs) and law enforcement into Exxon and Big Oil's climate crimes. But in an attempt to intimidate and disrupt our efforts, the Chairman of the House Science Committee, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), issued 10 subpoenas to AGs and green groups for, "pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists' rights to free speech."1
The irony of Rep. Smith's accusations of a "political agenda" could not be more pronounced. Since 1998, Smith has received nearly $700,000 in crude cash from Big Oil corporations.2 Talk about a carbon-dated conflict of interest. We can't allow our efforts to hold Exxon and Big Oil accountable be persecuted while the real criminals hide behind politicians and pundits like Rep. Smith. Sign here to tell Lamar Smith: We stand with the #ExxonKnew crew and that our resistance will NOT be intimidated.
To quickly recap the story: Thanks to the excellent reporting of the LA Times and Inside Climate News, we know that Exxon knew as far back as the 1970s that their products and operations would lead to climate climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and society.3 What's worse is used that knowledge to fuel a culture of climate denial by funding known think tanks and spin doctors with influence over lawmakers and public opinion to deny the science and delay action.4 Attorneys General (AGs) like New York's Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts' Maura Healey, among others, have launched investigations into Exxon for blocking action on climate change and potentially misleading investors, regulators and the public.1
That's what makes Chairman Smith's witch hunt so despicable -- instead of calling a hearing of the Science committee into what Exxon and Big Oil knew about climate change, and when, they're investigating the investigators in a brazen attempt to delay justice and block climate action (again).
Despite Rep. Smith, the response from our side has been nothing short of inspiring. AG Schneiderman responded to the subpoena by saying, "This Attorney General will not be intimidated or deterred from ensuring that every New Yorker receives the full protection of state laws."3 And UCS was just as direct when they said, "By attempting to interfere with Attorneys General investigations, Chairman Smith directly undermines efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for misrepresenting climate science."
Our friends are standing fast against the attempt by Chairman Smith and his cronies to bully us. But Smith's actions (and the support from other politicians) shows that Exxon's profits are more important than science, our climate and justice to too many elected officials. It's up to us to show Chairman Smith, Exxon and other their Big Oil conspirators that we stand together and will continue to press for justice. Sign here to make sure smith and his Big Oil cronies get the message.
Solidarity in Struggle,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Exxon Knew Crew
1. Hasemyer, David. State Attorneys General Subpoenaed by Rep. Lamar Smith Exxon Fraud Probe. Inside Climate News. July 13, 2016.
2. OpenSecrets.Org: Representative Lamar Smith Career Fundraising.
3. Banerjee, Neela, Song, Lisa and Hasemeyer, David. Exxon: The Road Not Taken. Inside Climate News. September 16, 2015.
4. Goldenberg, Suzanne. ExxonMobil Gave Millions to Climate-Denying Lawmakers Despite Pledge. The Guardian. July 15, 2015.