Science Group Encouraged by Congressional Call for DOJ to Investigate Big Oil

Published Jul 26, 2023

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) sent a letter, signed by 20 members of Congress, to the Department of Justice on Tuesday, urging the agency to investigate oil and gas companies’ decades-long climate disinformation campaigns.

The investigation would build on the one conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last year. Among the most alarming revelations to date are acknowledgements by oil industry executives, in private emails, that their companies’ climate pledges and professed solutions cannot deliver swift and deep cuts in global warming emissions—and will further delay the transition from fossil fuels.

Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):

“For decades, the fossil fuel industry has funded and carried out deliberate disinformation campaigns designed to delay and block climate action, with devastating impacts on the environment and people around the world—and disproportionate harm to people of color and other marginalized groups. Now ExxonMobil, Shell, and other major oil and gas corporations are profiting massively from continued fossil fuel expansion while using PR and greenwashing to try to convince the public that the climate crisis can’t be solved without them. It’s encouraging to see elected leaders call on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Big Oil's climate deception. An investigation and subsequent lawsuit against the tobacco industry made it clear that the Department of Justice can protect people and help save lives by holding corporations accountable for egregious misconduct.”