Reps. Huffman, Lofgren, Lieu, DeSaulnier, CA Members Urge Attorney General Becerra to Investigate ExxonMobil’s Role in Misleading Public on Climate Change
Washington, D.C.- Leading California lawmakers are asking the state’s newly sworn in Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, to use the powers of his office to vigorously and publicly investigate ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies who may have intentionally misled the public about the causes and dangers of climate change. Led by Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), the letter was sent by 18 members of the California congressional delegation including Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord).
The letter asks Attorney General Becerra to continue the investigative work, started by now-Senator Kamala Harris when she served as Attorney General, into whether leading oil companies, in particular ExxonMobil and its predecessor companies, covered up internal studies on the science of climate change. Similar investigations by Attorneys General from Massachusetts and New York are currently being defended in court.
“California has led the world in responding to the dangers of climate change, and we know that it will continue to do so,” wrote the members of Congress. “You now have a unique opportunity to play a leading role in that effort, and we urge you to work to hold ExxonMobil and others accountable for their longstanding, and potentially illegal, cover-up of the dangers of climate change.”
The letter was also signed by: Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), Pete Aguilar (D-Fontana), John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), Mark Takano (D-Riverside), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Julia Brownley (D-Oak Park), Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk), Maxine Waters (D-Inglewood), Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Hermosa Beach), Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), and Salud O. Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara).
The full text of the letter can be found here or below.
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Attorney General of California
1300 “I” Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2919
Dear Attorney General Becerra:
We write to congratulate you on your confirmation as California’s Attorney General. We are delighted to see you in this role protecting Californians and California law, a position which will be more important than ever in the coming years. As you know, climate change is a key issue confronting our shared constituents, which is why we urge you to vigorously and publicly continue the state’s investigation into what ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies knew about the dangers of climate change, and what they did with that vital information.
Under the leadership of then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, the State of California began an investigation into whether leading oil companies, in particular ExxonMobil and its predecessor companies, internally acknowledged the science of climate change decades ago yet covered up studies and worked to mislead the public about climate change’s dangers. As you know, Attorneys General from the states of Massachusetts and New York have subpoenaed ExxonMobil records and are currently defending their investigations in court.
California has led the world in responding to the dangers of climate change, and we know that it will continue to do so. You now have a unique opportunity to play a leading role in that effort, and we urge you to work to hold ExxonMobil and others accountable for their longstanding, and potentially illegal, cover-up of the dangers of climate change.
Congratulations again, and thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
JARED HUFFMAN ZOE LOFGREN
Member of Congress Member of Congress
TED LIEU MARK DESAULNIER
Member of Congress Member Congress