Over 350 Environmental, Civic and College Student Organizations Support Attorney General Schneiderman’s ExxonMobil Investigation
New York City –Activists representing more than 350 environmental, civic, and college student organizations delivered a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in support of his investigation of ExxonMobil. Recently uncovered documents show that for decades the Big Oil giant knew about the growing hazards resulting from the burning of fossil fuels, but they did not alert the public to the dangers.
Representatives from the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Food & Water Watch, 350.org, and others emphasized the scientific and legal importance of the investigation in the ongoing effort to address climate change and its effects on life on Earth.
“There is significant evidence that ExxonMobil misled the public about climate change,” said Megan Ahearn, Program Director for NYPIRG. “Exposing this deception is critical to protecting people and the planet and we want Attorney General Schneiderman to know how important his investigation is to ensuring that Big Oil is held accountable.”
After the meeting, representatives from supportive groups gathered outside with a 15-foot-tall oil drum and held a press conference calling for continued pressure to determine what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and failed to disclose. Experts from the legal and scientific communities spoke about the importance of the investigation.
“ExxonMobil has been on notice of climate change for six decades, and public evidence strongly suggests that the company may have misled investors and the public regarding the causes, nature, and risks of climate change. said Steven Feit, attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law. “Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation is critical to understanding whether or not Exxon’s actions constitute fraud. If so, the public must be made aware and those responsible must be held accountable.”
Jennifer Jacquet, an environmental studies professor from NYU also participated in the press conference, highlighting how this investigation could be critical in determining how the country responds to climate change going forward. “Exxon’s legacy of climate change and climate change denial is not only immoral and comes at the expense of clean energy policies and our planet, but it is fraud,” said Jennifer Jacquet, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU. “This case is one of the most important of the twenty-first century.”
“Big Oil needs to come clean about the harm they’ve done to the political process and the planet,” said Paige Murray, Senior at Brooklyn College and NYPIRG Environmental Campaign Project Leader. “Burning fossil fuels has had catastrophic impacts for life on Earth, and fossil fuel companies knew it. Students like me, who will bear the brunt of climate change impacts, know that the Attorney General’s investigation is critical to holding Big Oil accountable for their deception.”
“The Trump administration will not investigate Big Oil – because the fossil fuel industry is running the federal government,” said Eric Weltman, a Brooklyn-based Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “That’s why Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation is absolutely necessary, both for the sake of our democracy and the future of the planet.”
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