350.org on Exxon’s Bought-and-Paid-for Congressional Allies Targeting Environmentalists: “We Won’t be Distracted”

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Jamie Henn
jamie [at] 350.org
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350.org on Exxon’s Bought-and-Paid-for Congressional Allies Targeting Environmentalists: “We Won’t be Distracted”

NEW YORK, NY - Last week, 13 members of the House Committee on ‘Science, Space, and Technology’ sent broad and far-reaching letters to 17 state Attorneys General and eight non-governmental organizations, including 350.org, requesting records of communication sent between the offices. These letters come as a reaction to state Attorneys General announcing coordinated efforts to combat climate change, following revelations that Exxon knew all there was to know about climate change and chose to sow deep doubt and deception among the public instead of guiding the world toward a clean energy future.

Just ahead of Exxon’s annual general meeting of shareholders in Dallas, Texas, 350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued the following statement:

“These letters are a brazen attempt to block our right to petition the government, chill our free speech and freedom of association, and deter others from joining the fight for climate justice. Of course we’ve been collaborating with other groups ever since the shocking news about Exxon emerged. We are stronger and more effective when we join our voices. Our goal is clear: to hold Exxon accountable for decades of deep deception and for denying us a generation’s worth of time for climate action. We will keep pressuring our elected officials to investigate, keep demanding that shareholders divest, and keep reminding people around the world that the biggest company on earth for most of the past fifty years systematically misled the world on the biggest crisis the planet has ever faced.

“It’s priceless that Exxon and its allies in Congress are claiming that their first amendment rights are somehow being violated by citizens taking action. This company has been holding ‘closed-door meetings’ with politicians and their industry peers for decades, and the result is a planet that has set hair-raising new temperature records for the last 12 months. Arctic ice is melting at a terrifying record pace; last month much of the world’s coral reefs melted away; and low-income communities and communities of color continue to bear the brunt of these devastating impacts. These are the things Exxon and their Congressional allies are doing their best to distract us from. But we won’t be distracted.

“Around the world, tens of thousands of people have escalated the fight to break free from fossil fuels and keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. Now, Exxon knows it’s in trouble, so they’re pulling the strings of their allies in Congress in an obvious attempt to change the subject, stop our work and silence our voices.”

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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