Joining fellow democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton has called for a federal investigation of ExxonMobil. Many other politicians and environmental groups have called for a probe to see whether ExxonMobil purposefully mislead the American public on climate change.
Sanders and O’Malley voiced their support earlier this month, with Sanders sending a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and O’Malley announcing his support via Twitter.
Additionally, four U.S. Senators sent a letter to ExxonMobile inquiring about donations made to a financial clearinghouse which were funneled to climate change denial groups; and two California congressmen called for a federal probe earlier this month.
Clinton voiced her support on Thursday at a town hall event in New Hampshire after Jordan Cichon, a local community organizer, asked Clinton if she would “call on the Department of Justice to investigate” ExxonMobil.
Clinton responded: “Yes, yes, they should. There’s a lot of evidence that they misled people.”
The evidence comes from two investigations by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times. According to Inside Climate News: “Exxon scientists conducted rigorous climate research from the late-1970s to mid-1980s and warned top company executives about how global warming posed a threat to Exxon’s core business. The company later curtailed its research program before leading a decades-long campaign to create doubt about the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.”
Surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is voicing her support after receiving campaign donations from ExxonMobil affiliates. According to Mother Jones, two lobbyists for the company, Davis Leiter and Theresa Farielle, as well as Exxon attorney Judith Batty, have all donated to the Clinton campaign.
Politicians are asking for an investigation similar to that of the tobacco industry; specifically, whether or not Exxon violated RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law, the same law used to prosecute tobacco companies for hiding their knowledge of the health impacts of smoking.
You can see the video clip of Clinton voicing her support below: