Half a century. That’s how long Exxon’s known that burning oil and gas fuels climate change.
And what did it do? Bankroll climate denial and deception. Manufacture doubt. Attack science. Buy political loyalty. And paralyze our public and political climate to stop climate action that would threaten its profits.
And despite its greenwashing ads touting its so-called solutions, the fossil fuel industry is still blocking progress on climate change.
It’s time for the fossil fuel industry to stop writing the rules — and start paying for the damage it’s caused. And the first step is for state attorneys general to investigate Exxon’s decades of deception.
In 1977, a senior scientist at Exxon warned corporate management that burning fossil fuels was likely to cause climate change — and that we only had “five to ten years” to shift course. Yet instead of shifting course — just like Big Tobacco before it — Exxon pumped untold millions of dollars into junk science, front groups, PR, and politics to stall progress.
Now, people around the world are grappling with the loss of lives and livelihoods due to climate change. And scientists are warning we must act with even greater urgency.
Here’s the thing. Exxon may have borrowed its tricks from Big Tobacco. But our success alongside a global movement holding Big Tobacco accountable shows us the way forward for climate justice.
In the late 1990s, thanks in part to campaigning by people like you, dozens of state attorneys general launched investigations and lawsuits against the tobacco industry. The process brought to light page after page of industry documents that completely exposed Big Tobacco’s abuses — and catalyzed swift, transformative tobacco control policy not just in the U.S., but all around the world. And their legal victory requires the industry to pay billions of dollars each year to the settling states — forever.
We’ve seen how powerful this type of campaigning can be. We can expose Big Polluters’ deception, clear them out of policymaking, and hold them accountable. In fact, it’s an essential first step in the broad, powerful, and growing movement all over the world to finally implement the just climate solutions we know we need.
It starts with our state attorneys general investigating Exxon’s decades of deception — but they need to hear from you. Send a message now to urge your attorney general to investigate Exxon’s climate deception.