Dems look to shame Exxon in resolution

July 11, 2016
In The News

Two Democrats introduced a resolution Monday disapproving of companies that “deliberately mislead the public” about climate change science, an attack on oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., which has been accused of doing just that. 

In a joint resolution offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), the members say they disapprove of “activities by certain corporations, trade associations, foundations and organizations funded by those corporations to deliberately mislead the public and undermine peer-reviewed scientific research about the dangers of their products, and to deliberately cast doubt on science in order to protect their financial interests.”

The resolution equates the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco sector, which was slammed by lawsuits alleging it mislead the public about the dangers of smoking. And it says fossil fuel companies should “cooperate with active and future investigations into” their climate science. 

The measure does not reference Exxon Mobil by name, but it’s clearly related to news reports concluding the company was aware of the impact of burning carbon on climate change decades ago. 

The company has denied the allegations, and it has fought back against investigations from a host of state attorneys general, claiming it violates First Amendment rights. 

The Democrats’ resolution will likely never get a vote in the Republican-controlled Congress. But it represents another front in Democratic efforts to criticize Exxon. Lieu was among the first to call for a federal investigation into the company after reports about its research came out last year.