If one oil company is synonymous with funding decades of climate denial, it is Exxon. For decades, the oil giant copied the deadly playbook of Big Tobacco of sowing doubt about the evidence and delaying action.
Despite the warnings for years that we cannot burn new reserves of oil if we want a liveable climate, the West’s top nine oil majors alone are sitting on more than 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent of undeveloped resources. Much of this could end up going from being an asset to a liability, just as many predicted.
Big Oil’s decades’ old campaign to deny, deceive and delay action on climate change has been thrust into the spotlight again after the Attorney Generals for Minnesota and the District of Columbia (D.C.) both launched legal action against the industry within 24 hours of each other.
“Rather than planning an orderly decline in production”, Big Oil is “doubling down and acting like there is no climate crisis. This presents us with a simple choice: shut them down or face extreme climate disruption.”
Two landmark legal cases are becoming intertwined after the Attorneys representing 21 youth plaintiffs demanded that the US Government and American Petroleum Institute hand over a series of alias emails that were used by Rex Tillerson, then head of Exxon, to discuss climate change.