DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Ted Lieu
Sent By: megan.price@mail.house.gov
Date: 10/30/2015

Asking for Answers from Oil Companies

Reps. Ellison, Grayson, Huffman, Honda

Deadline: November 6

Dear Colleague,

Recent investigations by the Los Angeles Times and Inside Climate News allege that Exxon (becoming ExxonMobil in 1999) deliberately hid the truth about the role of fossil fuels in influencing climate change and intentionally spread disinformation about climate science.  An investigation by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has concluded that ExxonMobil was not alone in hiding knowledge of climate change while spreading disinformation about climate science, and that there was a “coordinated campaign of deception” on climate science by “ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Shell, Peabody Energy, and other members of the fossil fuel industry.”  UCS found evidence of “forged letters to Congress, secret funding of a supposedly independent scientist, the creation of fake grassroots organizations, [and] multiple efforts to deliberately manufacture uncertainty about climate science.”

The American people deserve answers from the fossil fuel corporations about their actions to massively deceive the public in regards to climate science.  We ask that you join our letter to the fossil fuel executives asking specific questions about their role, both past and present, in hiding and spreading disinformation to both the public and lawmakers alike concerning the science of climate change.  For more information or to cosign, please contact Megan Price with Rep. Ted Lieu at megan.price@mail.house.gov or Mark Fowler with Rep. Peter Welch atmark.fowler@mail.house.gov.

Thank you,

 

Ted W. Lieu                            Peter Welch

Member of Congress               Member of Congress

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

John S. Watson                                       Rex W. Tillerson                                     Ryan M. Lance

Chevron Headquarters                            ExxonMobil                                            ConocoPhillips

Chief Executive Officer                           Chief Executive Officer                           Chief Executive Officer

6001 Bollinger Canyon Road                  5959 Las Colinas Boulevard                   P.O. Box 2197

San Ramon, CA 94583                           Irving, Texas 75039-2298                       Houston, TX 77252-2197

 

Robert Warren “Bob” Dudley                 Ben van Beurden                                     Gregory H. Boyce

BP                                                           Shell                                                        Peabody Energy

Chief Executive Officer                           Chief Executive Officer                           Chief Executive Officer

501 Westlake Park Boulevard                P.O. Box 2463                                         701 Market Street

Houston, TX 77079                                Houston, TX 77252                                St. Louis, MO 63101-1826

 

 

Dear Chief Executive Officers,

As members of Congress concerned about climate change and the devastating effects it is having and will continue to have on our planet, we are alarmed by reports stating that Exxon (becoming ExxonMobil in 1999) hid the truth about the role of fossil fuels in influencing climate change and intentionally spread disinformation about climate science.  Investigations by the Los Angeles Times[1] and Inside Climate News[2] allege that Exxon scientists confirmed fossil fuels’ role in climate change decades ago, but top executives decided to hide the truth and instead embarked on a massive campaign of denial and disinformation.

An investigation by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has concluded that ExxonMobil was not alone in hiding knowledge of climate change while spreading disinformation about climate science.  UCS concluded there was a “coordinated campaign of deception” on climate science by “ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Shell, Peabody Energy, and other members of the fossil fuel industry.”[3]

The UCS investigation specifically found the following:[4]

  • “Fossil fuel companies have intentionally spread climate disinformation for decades.”
  • “Fossil fuel company leaders knew that their products were harmful to people and the planet but still chose to actively deceive the public and deny this harm.”
  • “The campaign of deception continues today.”

UCS uncovered many internal company documents confirming a massive coordinated campaign of deception conducted by the industry to deceive the public of climate science that even their own scientists confirmed.  These actions included “forged letters to Congress, secret funding of a supposedly independent scientist, the creation of fake grassroots organizations, [and] multiple efforts to deliberately manufacture uncertainty about climate science.”[5]

Given the evidence that has come to light from multiple investigations, we request that you answer the following questions:

  • When did your company first become aware that using fossil fuels could result in climate change and warming of the planet?
  • What did your company do with this information?
  • Did your company fund organizations that denied climate change or sought to spread uncertainty about climate change?
  • Did your company oppose the Kyoto Protocol?
  • What state and federal legislation to mitigate climate change has your company opposed?
  • Did your company, or organizations your company funded, forge letters to Congress regarding climate change?
  • Did your company, or organizations your company funded, secretly fund a supposedly independent scientist or scientists to deny or spread uncertainty about climate change?
  • Did your company, or organizations your company funded, create fake grassroots organizations to deny or spread uncertainty about climate change?
  • Did your company, or organizations your company funded, manufacture uncertainty about climate science?
  • Is your company continuing to fund misinformation regarding climate science either directly or through third parties?
  • Will you release your company’s past scientific data and findings regarding climate change?
  • Does your company believe the use of fossil fuels is contributing to global warming?
  • What state or federal legislation to mitigate climate change has your company supported?
  • Does your company support the science-based 2 degree Celsius temperature target to limit dangerous climate change?
  • What is your company’s business plan for reducing emissions consistent with this safe climate target?

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Ted W. Lieu                                                    Peter Welch

Member of Congress                                       Member of Congress


[1] Sara Jerving et al., “What Exxon Knew About the Earth’s Melting Arctic,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 9, 2015 and Katie Jennings et al., “How Exxon Went From Leader to Skeptic on Climate Change Research,” Los Angeles Times, Oct 23, 2015.

[2]; Neela Banerjee et al., “Exxon: The Road Not Taken,” Inside Climate News, Sep. 21, 2015.

[3] Mulvey, Kathy, and Seth Shulman. “The Climate Deception Dossiers (2015).” 2015. Accessed October 25, 2015.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.