Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

This #GivingTuesday, whatever is your first priority, your second priority has to be independent media.

2021 has been one of the most dangerous and difficult years for independent journalism that we’ve ever seen. Our democracy is facing serial existential threats including the climate emergency, vaccine apartheid amid deadly pandemic, a global crisis for biodiversity, reproductive freedoms under assault, rising authoritarianism worldwide, and corporate-funded corruption of democracy that run beneath all of this. Giving Tuesday is a critical opportunity to make sure our journalism remains funded so that we can stay focused on all your priority issues. Please contribute today to keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Please Help This #GivingTuesday -- Though our content is free to all, less than 1% of our readers give. We’re counting on you. Please help Common Dreams end the year strong.

The lawsuit "aims to hold ExxonMobil accountable for decades of dishonesty." (Photo: Johnny Silvercloud/flickr/cc)

Exxon Gets Sued by Conservationists and Legal Help from Conservatives

As attorneys general of Texas and Alabama pledge to assist oil giant with fraud probe, conservation group files first lawsuit since cover-up revealed

Nadia Prupis

An environmental group has filed the first non-governmental lawsuit against ExxonMobil since the fossil fuel giant's campaign of misinformation was exposed last year.

The Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced Tuesday that it served a formal notice against Exxon for its decades-long effort to suppress information about climate change and spread public doubt about the impacts of greenhouse gases. CLF launched an investigation against the corporation after InsideClimate News exposed its cover-up in 2015, and found Exxon to be endangering New England communities by misleading regulators over the climate-readiness of its facilities.

"ExxonMobil's strategy of publicly denying the very risks its scientists have known for decades has direct impact on Greater Boston communities," said CLF President Brad Campbell. "ExxonMobil knowingly and unlawfully misled regulators about whether its Everett facility can withstand rising seas, more intense precipitation, and other climate impacts without spewing oil and other toxic pollutants into adjoining neighborhoods, the Mystic River, and the Boston Harbor."

The lawsuit "aims to hold ExxonMobil accountable for decades of dishonesty and require that the Everett facility meet the legal standards for climate-readiness," Campbell said.

Roseann Bongiovanni, an environmental justice advocate with the Boston-area community group Chelsea Green Space, added, "A decade ago, ExxonMobil spilled thousands of gallons of oil into our river and denied its wrongdoing for months until confronted and forced to pay by the Department of Justice. Today, we have a greater understanding of the full extent of ExxonMobil's climate denial and we have another opportunity to show the world that we won't stand for it."

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in March became one of 17 attorneys general seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in the cover-up of climate change. Others include California's Kamala Harris and New York's Eric Schneiderman.

But that alliance faces a growing opposition from the attorneys general of conservative states like Texas and Alabama, who on Monday announced they would be taking Exxon's side in the fight.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange claim Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker—who launched a racketeering probe into the oil giant in April—is overstepping his legal bounds.

In a statement, Walker said fraud investigations are par for the course for attorneys general and said he seeks to "to protect consumers and investors in the Virgin Islands."

Paxton and Strange "wish to lend a hand to ExxonMobil, which is their choice," Walker said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Hangs Up After Boebert Uses Call to Double Down on 'Outright Bigotry and Hate'

"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments."

Jessica Corbett ·


Win for Alabama Workers as NLRB Orders New Union Vote After Amazon's Alleged Misconduct

A union leader said the decision confirmed that "Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace."

Jessica Corbett ·


'For the Sake of Peace,' Anti-War Groups Demand Biden Return to Nuclear Deal With Iran

"It's time to put differences aside and return to the Iran nuclear deal," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'That's for Them to Decide': UK Secretary Rebuked for Claiming Vaccine Patent Waiver Won't Be 'Helpful' to Global Poor

One U.K. lawmaker asked when the government would "start putting the need to end this pandemic in front of the financial interests of Big Pharma?"

Andrea Germanos ·


Shell Slammed for Plan to Blast South African Coastline for Oil and Gas During Whale Season

"We cannot allow climate criminals, like Shell, to plunder in the name of greed," said Greenpeace.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo