Congress is defending Exxon — and going after us. Yesterday, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced that they’re taking the extraordinary step of issuing subpoenas to us, the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, and seven other NGOs, for our work to hold Exxon accountable.
This is the first time climate deniers in Congress have taken legal action against us.
It’s no secret that corruption runs deep in Congress, but there is something very wrong with this picture: Our elected officials have all the information they need to launch investigations into Exxon’s decades of climate deceit. Instead, they’re investigating us.
More blatantly than ever, these members of Congress are choosing to defend the fossil fuel industry over the people. While they double down on their desperate counter-attack to try to distract us, we must double down on our call to hold Exxon accountable. Pressure from people is working — and now it’s up to us to turn up the heat.
This Committee is ostensibly dedicated to science and they claim to be defending free speech, but they’re actively attacking both. Their main interest is to defend the fossil fuel companies at the root of the climate crisis. This sham investigation shows exactly why we need to get to the bottom of Exxon’s lies and fraud. Until we can break the stranglehold these companies have on our political process, we won’t see the climate action we so desperately need.
We know what’s really driving this investigation: money. The 13 Congress members who signed the first letter have collectively received more than $70,000 in contributions from Exxon and hundreds of thousands more from other fossil fuel companies in the last decade alone.1
Our goal is clear: to hold Exxon accountable for what may be one of the greatest corporate crimes in history. We’ve offered to meet with the Committee to explain why we want to get the truth about Exxon’s lies. In fact, we’d appreciate the opportunity to ask them some questions of our own about how they may be colluding with Exxon or its front groups on this investigation. But we refuse to violate our First Amendment rights by handing over all of our emails and documents — doing so would set a dangerous precedent and empower these demagogues to continue their attempts to harass and intimidate us. We won’t let that happen.
They fight back with money, but we fight back with people power. They’re trying to silence us, but we will just keep getting louder.
Thank you for standing with us,
- Exxon, Koch Ties May Help Explain Rep. Lamar Smith’s Probing Request of “Exxon Knew” Environmental Groups (DeSmogBlog)
- Exxon climate probe takes surreal turn as Congressman subpoenas state attorneys general (Mashable)
- U.S. House panel subpoenas New York, Massachusetts attorneys general (Reuters)
- In Unprecedented Move, House Science Committee Interferes In Exxon Investigation (Buzzfeed)