Dear Attorney General: It’s Time To Investigate Exxon

Today, the Coalition for Clean Air joined more than 30 nonprofit organizations in asking California Attorney General Becerra to join the ongoing climate change investigation of ExxonMobil being conducted by fellow state attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts. The Los Angeles Times editorial board also called on the new California Attorney General to join the investigation into Exxon’s decades of deception.

The full text of the letter and list of California and national organizations that signed in support is below. Legal experts and frontline voices in California are available to speak more about the #ExxonKnew campaign and the importance of an investigation.

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April 12, 2017

Dear Attorney General Becerra:

California has a tradition of leadership on environmental protection and climate change, from clean air regulations to vehicle mileage standards that have paved the way for numerous nationwide policy advances. As the White House and Congress move to roll back bedrock climate change policies, the state has continued to set the standard for climate action.

From the start of the new federal Administration, state attorneys general have emerged as sentinel defenders of essential protections of a civil society, once taken for granted. The president’s recent order to reverse course on climate change could cost future generations dearly. The impacts will be felt most severely by those in greatest need – urban poor, the elderly and children, traditional societies, agricultural workers and rural populations – according to California’s own Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration once again declared the past year to be the hottest year in recorded history. Here in California, in 2013 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment measured 36 “significant and growing” environmental shifts in the state due to climate change. As a result of climate change, the California Natural Resources Agency reports the state is currently suffering, or is at risk of suffering a water supply shortage, wildfires, agricultural damage, and public health harms such as heat strokes, asthma, and heart attacks.

According to the California Department of Public Health, at least 140 people died during a 2-week heat wave in 2006. Many of these deaths occurred in historically low-income California counties where many are without access to air conditioning. Experts from the California Energy Commission project that by 2050, California will experience up to 53 extreme heat days per year. For context, the historical average is four days per year.

ExxonMobil is a leading fossil fuel company that has not accurately informed the public, policymakers or its shareholders about the serious risks associated with climate change. Further, ExxonMobil funds and funded organizations that have distorted the facts about climate change. Exxon knew of the many risks of climate change, how these risks influenced their own economic future, and still spent years actively distorting the truth.

We the undersigned organizations, respectfully request you join the ongoing climate change investigation of ExxonMobil being conducted by fellow state attorneys general.

  • National + Chapters in Humboldt, Sacramento, San Diego, Silicon Valley, Sonoma, South Bay LA, and SoCal
  • Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling
  • Center for Biological Diversity – Sacramento, CA
  • Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Climate Hawks Vote – Agoura Hills, CA
  • – Oakland, CA
  • Coalition for Clean Air – Sacramento, CA
  • Coast Action Group – Santa Rosa, CA
  • Corporate Accountability International – San Francisco, CA
  • CREDO Action – San Francisco, CA
  • Divest LA – El Segundo, CA
  • Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES) – Oakland, CA
  • Food & Water Watch – Oakland, CA
  • Friends of the Earth – Berkeley, CA
  • Fossil Free California – Oakland, CA
  • Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice – San Francisco, CA
  • Greenpeace USA – Oakland, CA
  • Oil Change International
  • Presente – Los Angeles, CA
  • Sierra Club – Oakland, CA
  • Surfrider Foundation – Santa Cruz, CA
  • The 5 Gyres Institute – Los Angeles, CA
  • Union of Concerned Scientists – Oakland, CA

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