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Friday, October 30, 2015



Leaders of many of the country’s largest environmental groups, civil rights organizations, and indigenous people’s movements issued a joint letter today calling on the Department of Justice to investigate ExxonMobil, after revelations that the company knew about climate change as early as the 1970s, but chose to mislead the public about the crisis in order to maximize their profits from fossil fuels.

“ExxonMobil has known for decades that their product is deadly, and then used tobacco-industry tactics to cover that up. It's time for them to pay," said Climate Hawks Vote President RL Miller. "We at Climate Hawks Vote are proud to have so many groups join our campaign to demand a federal investigation of their climate crimes.”

The letter is a remarkable show of unity, with groups ranging from the Audubon Society to the Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, and will help keep the spotlight on Exxon as new revelations continue to emerge. Over the last week, pressure has continued to build for a federal investigation, with all of the Democratic presidential candidates—Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton—calling on the DOJ to act.

Climate Hawks Vote was the first group to call for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a racketeering investigation of ExxonMobil and the fossil-fuel industry in response to the recent news reports.

Here is the full text of the letter and list of signatories:

Dear Attorney General Lynch,

As leaders of some of the nation’s environmental, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups, we’re writing to ask that you initiate a federal probe into the conduct of ExxonMobil. New revelations in the Los Angeles Times and the Pulitzer-prize-winning InsideClimate News strongly suggest that the corporation knew about the dangers of climate change even as it funded efforts at climate denial and systematically misled the public.

Given the damage that has already occurred from climate change—particularly in the poorest communities of our nation and our planet—and that will certainly occur going forward, these revelations should be viewed with the utmost apprehension. They are reminiscent—though potentially much greater in scale—than similar revelations about the tobacco industry.

These journalists have provided a remarkable roadmap to this corporation’s potential misconduct. We would ask that you follow that map wherever it may lead, employing all the tools at your disposal to uncover the truth.


Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America
Kenny Ausubel, Nina Simons, Founders of Bioneers
Sally Bingham, President and Founder of Interfaith Power and Light
May Boeve, Bill McKibben, Founders of
Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club
Robert Bullard, Author and John Muir Award winner, 2013
Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of International Indian Treaty Council
Faith Gemmill, Executive Director of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands)
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network
James Hansen, Director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program, Columbia University Earth Institute
Reverend Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Greenfaith
David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier
Gene Karpinski, President of League of Conservation Voters
Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director and Founder of Oil Change International
Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth
Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA
RL Miller, President of Climate Hawks Vote
Matt Nelson, Managing Director of
Brant Olson, Campaign Director at Climate Truth
Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth
Cindy Shogan, Executive Director of Alaska Wilderness League
Reverend Fred Small, President of Creation Coalition
Gus Speth, Former Dean Yale School of Forestry and the Environment
Tom Steyer, Founder of NextGen
Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council
Vien Truong, Director of Green for All
Joe Uehlein, Executive Director of Labor Network for Sustainability
Tripp Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice
David Yarnold, President of the Audubon Society
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, President of Hip Hop Caucus
Trip Van Nopen, Earth Justice
Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica
Resilience Collaborative, LLC
A Philip Randolph Institute
Green America
Energy Action Coalition
Divest Invest Individual
Bean Soup Times
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
Beats Rhymes & Relief
Freddie Gray Project
Beloved Community Center
Neighbors United of Southeast Greensboro, NC
The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop
The Gathering for Justice/Justice League NYC
J Dilla Foundation

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