Amidst Hottest Month in History, House Science Committee Ignores Request for Open Debate on Exxon's Climate Denial

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Lindsay Meiman, 350.org

Amidst Hottest Month in History, House Science Committee Ignores Request for Open Debate on Exxon's Climate Denial

WASHINGTON - Last Friday, the counsel of 350.org and Greenpeace USA sent a letter to Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Science Committee, after he rejected the groups’ request to include Minority members in conversations around his overreaching subpoena concerning Exxon’s decades-long climate change deception campaign.

Decades ago, Exxon’s own scientists warned the company’s executives about the dangers of fossil fuel use on our climate and our communities. Instead of heeding these warnings, Exxon’s executives poured the company’s resources into sowing doubt and orchestrating a campaign to mislead the public on the fossil fuel industry’s role contributing to climate change.

Just last week, NASA and NOAA officially confirmed July 2016 as the hottest month in history, marking it is as the fifteenth consecutive hottest month ever.

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director said:

“Even as Representative Smith’s home state of Texas is hit with record flooding, and extreme weather events like floods in Louisiana and wildfires in California force mass evacuations, this House Science Committee still has its head in the sand. Our elected officials and candidates should be supporting the communities impacted by climate change, not backing Exxon and the fossil fuel industry that is responsible for perpetuating this very devastation.”

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Executive Director said:

“As Representative Lamar Smith continues his baseless crusade against attorneys general and nonprofit organizations, Greenpeace and 350.org have remained steadfast in our willingness to participate in a bipartisan meeting with his entire Committee to discuss Exxon’s colossal climate denial scheme. Chairman Smith’s unwillingness to grant these requests has made it quite clear that he is only out to advance a partisan political agenda against anyone who dare question Exxon’s potential fraud. While Chairman Smith has made the decision to proceed with his subpoena without the involvement of any minority committee members, we will only consider a meeting if all members are invited to weigh in on the urgent threat of climate change and Exxon’s contribution to it.”

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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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