The Strategist

ExxonMobil Followed Volkswagen: The Oil Company Is Accused of Concealing Environment Risks

11/06/2015 - 14:02

US authorities have started an investigation against energy company ExxonMobil on suspicion that the company is hiding data on the climate change effect of fuel combustion from public and investors. Environmentalists have long accused ExxonMobil and other energy companies that they contribute to spread of misinformation about the environmental threats and support researches designed to hide or understate the risks.

Brian Katt
Brian Katt
November 5, New York prosecutors declared launch of investigation into US energy company ExxonMobil. The investigation should determine whether the company misleaded public and investors with wrong data about environmental risks of combustion and conceal the related information about climate changes. According to US media sources, on Wednesday the Attorney General of New York Eric Schneiderman sent to ExxonMobil a call to prepare financial reports, emails and other documents. According to The Washington Post, on Thursday ExxonMobil has confirmed receipt of the request. The company representative Scott Silvestri said: "We unequivocally deny allegations that ExxonMobil concealed data about climate change."

According to sources, the authorities also launched an investigation into the largest private coal company in the world Peabody Energy. Environmentalists have long criticized the two companies for spreading misinformation about climate changes and financing of related groups and research. In late October, it was reported that more than 40 non-governmental environmental organizations sent to the Ministry of Justice a letter demanding a federal investigation of ExxonMobil. According to them, back in the 1970s ExxonMobil knew that their activities have a negative impact on the climate, contributing to global warming, but proceeded to hide the data and conducted information campaigns to deny the existence of problems.
Environmentalist Kert Davies, who previously worked at Greenpeace, and now - at the organization of Climate Investigations Center, said: "For the whole generation, we have been watching ExxonMobil sowing doubt among scientists involved in climate change issues, and preventing related environmentalists movements." According to Harvard University professor Naomi Oreskes, the policy of energy companies is one of the reasons that society have been reluctant to switch to alternative energy sources: "There are many reasons why this has not been done yet, but one of the most significant, in my opinion, is the role of ExxonMobil and other companies in the dissemination of disinformation, undermining public support for such initiatives and lobbying against reducing our dependence on fossil fuels."