The Department of Justice Must Investigate ExxonMobil

You can join the call to action be signing our petition to the DOJ here. 

Leaders of many of the country’s largest environmental groups, civil rights organizations, and indigenous peoples movements issued a joint letter today calling on the Department of Justice to investigate ExxonMobil, after revelations that the company knew about climate change as early as the 1970s, but chose to mislead the public about the crisis in order to maximize their profits from fossil fuels.

“Despite Exxon’s wealth and power, people were eager to sign on to this statement,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of “Anyone who’s lived through 25 years of phony climate debate, or who’s seen the toll climate change is already taking on the most vulnerable communities, has been seething at these revelations. It reminds me of the spirit at the start of the Keystone battle.”

The letter is a remarkable show of unity, with groups ranging from the Audubon Society to the Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, and will help keep the spotlight on Exxon as new revelations continue to emerge. Over the last week, pressure has continued to build for a federal investigation, with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley all calling on the DOJ to act.

Here is the full text of the letter and list of signatories:

Dear Attorney General Lynch,

As leaders of some of the nation’s environmental, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups, we’re writing to ask that you initiate a federal probe into the conduct of ExxonMobil. New revelations in the Los Angeles Times and the Pulitzer-prize-winning InsideClimate News strongly suggest that the corporation knew about the dangers of climate change even as it funded efforts at climate denial and systematically misled the public.

Given the damage that has already occurred from climate change—particularly in the poorest communities of our nation and our planet—and that will certainly occur going forward, these revelations should be viewed with the utmost apprehension. They are reminiscent—though potentially much greater in scale—than similar revelations about the tobacco industry.

These journalists have provided a remarkable roadmap to this corporation’s potential misconduct. We would ask that you follow that map wherever it may lead, employing all the tools at your disposal to uncover the truth.

Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America
Rameen Aminzadeh, Beats Rhymes & Relief
Ana Maria Archila, Andrew Friedman, Brian Kettenring, Popular Democracy
Kenny Ausubel, Nina Simons, Founders of Bioneers
Lydia Avila, Energy Action Coalition
Darryl Baskerville, Greensboro4Justice
Jimmy Betts, Beyond Extreme Energy
Sally Bingham, President and Founder of Interfaith Power and Light
May Boeve, Bill McKibben, Founders of
Sr. Joan Brown, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force
Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club
Robert Bullard, Author and John Muir Award winner, 2013
Anne Butterfield, President of Clean Energy Action
Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of International Indian Treaty Council
Patrick Carolan, Franciscan Action Network
Piper Carter, The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop
Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University
Faith Gemmill, Executive Director of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands)
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network
Russell Greene, J.A.M.N.
Christopher Hale, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Ross Hammond, ForestEthics
James Hansen, Director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program, Columbia University Earth Institute
Christina Hardy, Neighbors United of Southeast Greensboro, NC
Reverend Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Greenfaith
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch
David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier
Katie Hoffman, Resilience Collaborative, LLC
Lisa Hoyos, Director and Co-Founder of Climate Parents
Reverend Nelson Johnson, Beloved Community Center
Gene Karpinski, President of League of Conservation Voters
Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
Deacon Jerry Kotas, Colorado Interfaith Power and Light
Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director and Founder of Oil Change International
Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth
Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA
Patti Lynn, Executive Director of Corporate Accountability International
Richard Mabion, President of the Kansas City, Kansas NAACP Branch, and the first Black ExCom Board member for the Kansas Sierra Club (2012)
Mark Magaña,GreenLatinos
RL Miller, President of Climate Hawks Vote
Toure Muhammad, Bean Soup Times
Matt Nelson, Managing Director of
Brant Olson, Campaign Director at Climate Truth
Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth
Brandon Ross, Freddie Gray Project
Aldo Seoane, Wica Agli
Cindy Shogan, Executive Director of Alaska Wilderness League
Reverend Fred Small, President of Creation Coalition
Gus Speth, Former Dean Yale School of Forestry and the Environment
Tom Steyer, Founder of NextGen Climate
Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica
Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity
Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council
Franz Teplitz, Green America
Vien Truong, Director of Green for All
Joe Uehlein, Executive Director of Labor Network for Sustainability
Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice
Clara Vonrich, Divest-Invest Philanthropy
Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Director of Federal Policy of WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Maureen Yancey “Ma Dukes”, J Dilla Foundation
David Yarnold, President of the Audubon Society
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President of Hip Hop Caucus
Elijah Zarlin, Climate Campaigns Director, CREDO
A Philip Randolph Institute
Divest Invest Individual
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
The Gathering for Justice/Justice League NYC


Break Free From Fossil Fuels

May 3–15, 2016: On six continents, thousands of people took bold action to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. Break Free showed what the climate movement can do in 2016:
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