New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman opens an investigation against Exxon Mobile over whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. Schneiderman say that over a period of ten years, Exxon Mobile funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences to company executives. Exxon Mobil says the company had funded mainstream climate science since the 1970s, had published dozens of scientific papers on the topic and had disclosed climate risks to investors.
We unequivocally reject the allegations that Exxon Mobil has suppressed climate change research…We stopped funding [groups that denied serious climate risks] in the middle part of the past decade because a handful of them were making the uncertainty of the science their focal point. Frankly, we made the call that we needed to back away from supporting the groups that were undercutting the actual risk” of climate change. We recognize the risk.
Despite a 2007 promise to stop funding anti Climate Change researchers and activist groups, Greenpeace claims that ExxonMobil has paid $1.87 million for every Republican in Congress who actively denies climate change. An additional $454,000 went to ALEC. In an email response to The Guardian newspaper the Company says:
ExxonMobil does not fund climate denial…We are taking action in a range of ways – by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, helping consumers reduce their emissions, and by supporting research at leading US universities into both increased emissions reduction capability and research into alternative energy sources…I don’t believe we underwrite specific Alec functions, and, as should be abundantly clear from my past statements to you, we believe climate change is real and warrants action, we’re taking steps to address it, which I’ve also provided you voluminous detail on, and we don’t embrace the views of those who deny climate change or think it isn’t a serious matter…Because The Guardian has abandoned objective journalism and has a clear agenda regarding climate change, it can no longer be trusted to do the job its readers have a right to expect, which is to provide accurate and unbiased coverage on this important topic.