Target: FBI Director James B. Comey
Goal: Launch a full investigation into claims that major oil companies knew about climate change for decades but lied about it anyway.
The oil industry has had a vivid understanding of the science behind climate change for decades, according to a massive trove of documents discovered by the Center for International Environmental Law. These documents also provide evidence that major players in the industry actively strategized to shape public skepticism toward this science which they knew was completely sound. The Department of Justice has referred requests to investigate these claims to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Thus, the FBI must launch a full investigation into this enormous criminal history of corporate deceit.
One of the most damning pieces of evidence found by the CIEL comes from the year 1968, when scientists with the Stanford Research Institute presented their commissioned report about the links between rising carbon dioxide levels, climate change, and fossil fuels to the American Petroleum Institute (API). This report, known as the “Robinson Report,” stated clearly that the existing science on the issue was very detailed and that it adequately explained the presence of excess CO2 in the atmosphere. After this report made its way to the World Petroleum Congress, a steering committee of high-level executives from the API commissioned yet another report submitted to the Department of Interior on air pollution issues. This project referenced the Robinson Report, but drew completely different conclusions; namely, that the science was not clear and that many uncertainties still loomed.
These documents prove that Big Oil has long known about the link between climate change and fossil fuel consumption. Further proof comes in the form of patents filed by several oil companies in the 1970s with regards to technology aimed at removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Not only does this cast doubt on their more recent claims of uncertainty regarding climate change science, it also reveals that they have been trying to shape public skepticism toward climate change science for decades.
With the attorneys general of New York, Massachusetts, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands already undertaking investigations, it’s time for the federal government to step in as well. Sign the petition below to urge the FBI to launch a full investigation into Big Oil’s decades-long practices of corporate deceit.
Dear Director Comey,
The documents uncovered by the Center for International Environmental Law regarding corporate deception in the oil industry are absolutely damning. They prove that major fossil fuel corporations like Exxon have known that the science behind climate change was completely sound for decades. They also prove that these corporations purposefully constructed reports that were meant to manipulatively cast doubt on this data to avoid any and all environmental regulations. You must launch a full-scale investigation into this enormous criminal history of corporate deceit.
CIEL’s own investigation provides hundreds of documents showing that Big Oil has been well aware of the links between rising carbon dioxide levels, fossil fuel consumption, and climate change since as early as 1968. It also shows that they began drafting their own reports to federal agencies which cast unfounded doubt on data they themselves had been told was accurate and clear. Furthermore, these documents present evidence that oil companies tried to patent CO2 removal technologies while also claiming that there was little scientific proof to support the fact that rising CO2 levels were a real threat.
The federal government cannot remain silent on this issue. When Big Tobacco was found guilty of corporate deceit with regards to carcinogens and cigarettes, major lawsuits, hearings, and regulations followed. I urge you to launch a full-scale investigation into Big Oil’s own astounding, criminal history of corporate deceit with regards to climate change science.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Forbes