Exxon Knew. Was that Shell’s Game, too?

February 19, 2016

None dare call it conspiracy. Till now.

Oil giant Exxon planned their facilities with climate change and sea level rise in mind, even as they were funding efforts to cast doubt on the science of climate change.
Congress-people asking if Shell Oil did the same thing.


Los Angeles Times:

A Southern California congressman and two other representatives are calling for an investigation of Shell Oil over whether it deceived the public on climate change at the same time it was preparing its business operations for rising sea levels.

In a Feb. 17 letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch, the three members of Congress said growing evidence suggests there may have been “a conspiracy between Shell, Exxon Mobil and potentially other companies in the fossil fuel industry.”

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) sent the letter along with Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont and Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, both Democrats.

Their letter cites an investigation published by the Los Angeles Times that reported that in 1989 Shell Oil announced it was redesigning a long-term, $3-billion natural gas platform in the North Sea to deal with rising sea levels from global warming. Despite this and other incidents, the congressmen noted, “Shell apparently decided to fund climate deniers.”

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris  (as well as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman) is investigating whether Exxon Mobil repeatedly lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change — and whether such actions could amount to securities fraud and violations of environmental laws. New York’s attorney general also is investigating the oil company as a result of the published reports.

“As members of the Oversight Committee, we now ask that Shell also be investigated for intentionally hiding the truth about climate change and embarking on a massive campaign of denial and disinformation,” the letter states.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith responded to the letter by saying that “Shell’s public position on climate change and the challenge CO2 poses is well known and can be documented for over a decade through publications such as the Shell Annual Report and the Shell Sustainability Report. Recognizing the climate challenge and the role energy has in enabling a decent quality of life, we continue to pursue and advance constructive dialogue on this topic as the challenge is one for all of society.”

4 Responses to “Exxon Knew. Was that Shell’s Game, too?”

  1. j4zonian Says:

    I’ve read a much longer list of oil corporations plus the American Petroleum Inst. involved in making the decision to lie. I’m betting that as more information is forced out of the corporations, that will become more and more clear–an industry-wide conspiracy to hide the truth, despite the dire results.

    This needs to be done as quickly as possible. We’re racing against the warming; we’re also racing against corporate and government work to hide and destroy evidence. No doubt they’ve already done that, but searching through nooks and crannies for decades of documents can take a long time and luck. We need to press the Justice Dept. and every state’s Attorney General to investigate with all possible speed and power. Unfortunately that will of course be hardest where the corporations are the most active–oil and coal states are the last places likely to allow it, but maybe once the ball gets rolling, divestment bites deeply into capital and subsidies are stopped…?

    We need to demand immediate stopping of all subsidies. We should also start pressing for nationalization of the fossil fuel industries. It’s a good idea anyway but in light of the situation it’s especially important. Criminal actions here and in their many accidents and leaks, the (criminally?) irresponsible actions of coal companies going out of business or trying to evade liability and pensions by declaring bankruptcy, and the immediate necessity of halting exploration, drilling and mining of fossil fuels as fast as efficiency, conservation, and wiser, more ecological lives and clean safe renewables can be ramped up to replace them all mean this is by far the best way to handle the industries.

    We need to institute a corporate death penalty where it doesn’t already exist, revoking the charters of every corporation involved and seizing their assets.

    We need to pledge to only vote for or help candidates who pledge for a climate mobilization–a global US-WWII-style industrialization to rapidly build efficiency and renewables infrastructure, transform agriculture to low-meat organic permaculture, transform industry to ecological forms, and reforest the planet. It’s the only way the world can possibly avoid the calamitous effects of warming beyond 1C.

    We need to pass laws nationally, internationally and at state level to classify the crimes being committed here as crimes against humanity, and pass a new class of laws making these crimes against the Earth. We need to prosecute everyone involved–fossil fuel executives, politicians, lawyers, PR people and firms, etc. and impose the longest possible prison sentences. At the same time, the best way to get the truth, expand the investigation and decrease resistance is to offer a Truth and Reconciliation process–suspended sentences in exchange for turning over all information and documents, confessing in full, forfeiting all money made and property bought since the crimes started, and agreeing never to hold another position of responsibility in business, government, non-profit or religion. A protracted fight will waste time we need to reorder the business and government structure of the US and other countries and implement the logistical solutions to the crisis; this plan has a better plan than any other I can think of to shorten the fight and speed up the solutions.


  2. pendantry Says:

    Seems pretty clear-cut to me that the actions of the fossoil industry ought to be considered crimes against humanity the biosphere.

  3. […] funding, are under investigation by several State Attorneys General, following revelations that Exxon scientists understood and warned management of the consequences of continued carbon release, as long ago as the 1960s.   The Attorneys General are asking if […]

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