Signature needed: The SEC should investigate ExxonMobil

CREDO action
Tell the Securities And Exchange Commission: Investigate ExxonMobil

Petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission:
"Exxon knew that fossil fuels caused climate change — then spent decades denying the science. Please investigate ExxonMobil's past financial filings to determine if securities laws were violated by failing to appropriately disclose material risks related to climate change."

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Dear 5849376,

Pressure is rapidly mounting on ExxonMobil. After recent investigations revealed Exxon knew as early as 1978 that fossil fuels were causing climate change, calls are growing for the Department of Justice to investigate the company's decades-long campaign of denial.

Now there's a new front which could be our best opportunity to hold Exxon accountable.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced this month that he was launching an investigation into whether Exxon broke financial rules by intentionally misleading the public and company shareholders about the risks climate change posed to the oil industry.

Rep. Ted Lieu and four other members of congress have sent a letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a similar investigation into Exxon's financial disclosures.1 An investigation by federal financial regulators would set an important precedent, and we need to make sure the SEC knows there are a lot of us standing behind Rep. Lieu's call.

Tell the Securities and Exchange Commission: Investigate ExxonMobil. Click here to sign the petition.

If Exxon knew that climate change was caused by burning fossil fuels, it knew that climate change posed a risk to its business and its assets. Such risks are required to be disclosed publicly to investors.2

As Rep. Lieu writes in his letter: "As a publicly traded company, ExxonMobil has a duty to follow U.S. securities law and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations for the benefit of investors, including disclosure requirements as they apply to business or legal developments relating to the issue of climate change. Unfortunately, it appears that ExxonMobil may have omitted or misrepresented material information in official filings."

Tell the Securities and Exchange Commission: Investigate ExxonMobil. Click here to sign the petition.

This week, we're delivering the signatures of nearly 150,000 CREDO activists, who — along with scientists, members of Congress and every Democratic presidential candidate — are urging the Department of Justice to investigate Exxon's climate denial under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the same law that played a crucial role in taking down the tobacco companies' misinformation campaign.

An SEC investigation represents a separate, but simple and clear-cut opportunity for federal accountability.

Recent investigations by InsideClimate News and the LA times show that Exxon clearly knew climate change posed a risk to its company.3 Climate change was guiding Exxon's business decisions — like choosing not to develop one of its gas fields because of how much carbon would be released. And Exxon was aware that climate change would likely lead to governments mandating reductions in fossil fuel pollution. In fact its extensive climate research was in part an effort to position the company to have a seat at the table when governments began those discussions.

But Exxon didn't disclose these risks in reports to financial regulators and investors. Instead, the company launched into a two decade campaign to cast doubt on the very science it's own teams had confirmed. Exxon needs to be held accountable.

Sign the petition telling the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate ExxonMobil:

Thanks for speaking out to hold ExxonMobil accountable.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. "Congressmen Call on SEC to Investigate Exxon's Climate Disclosures," InsideClimate News, 11/2/15
  2. "Did ExxonMobil commit securities fraud by denying climate change?" Christian Science Monitor, 11/9/15
  3. "Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuel's Role In Global Waring," InsideClimate News 9/16/15

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