Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Mike Meno, Center for Climate Integrity,

Press Release

Biden’s A.G. Pick Must Hold Polluters Accountable: Center for Climate Integrity Statement


President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Merrick Garland to be the next U.S. Attorney General, multiple news outlets reported today. Garland would lead a department that Biden has pledged will play a key role in his administration’s climate agenda. 

In a climate plan released earlier this year, Biden pledged to create a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice and instruct his Attorney General to “strategically support ongoing plaintiff-driven climate litigation against polluters,” a reference to lawsuits from more than 20 U.S. states and localities that seek to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for deceiving the public about its role in climate change. 

Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, released the following statement: 

“As we face an accelerating climate crisis and growing calls for accountability, the next attorney general must fight for people over polluters and ensure that no industry, company, or executive is above the law. 

“For years, leading fossil fuel companies lied to the American people about their role in the climate crisis, even while they protected their own assets, and the public has paid dearly.  The Justice Department must do everything in its power to investigate and hold these climate polluters accountable for their deception. 

“As the leader of a new DOJ dedicated to environmental and climate justice, Attorney General-nominee Garland must fulfill the president-elect’s pledges to support litigation by states and municipalities against the polluters who caused the climate crisis.”


Since 2017, 24 communities, including the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island; the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen city and county governments in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Washington have brought lawsuits under different claims to recover billions of dollars in damages caused by the oil and gas industry’s deception about climate change. Learn about those cases here.


The Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) helps cities and states across the country hold corporate polluters accountable for the massive impacts of climate change.

'Embarrassing': US Absent as World Joins Together to Protect Biodiversity

"It reinforces the notion that the U.S. is a fair-weather partner when it comes to environmental conservation, including issues of climate change," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·

'It Was Torture': African Asylum-Seekers Describe Restraint Agony on ICE 'Death Flights'

"In Cameroon, I had been beaten with a machete until my feet swelled and bled... But the day I was put in the WRAP by ICE, I wanted to die. I have never felt such horrible pain."

Brett Wilkins ·

Progressives to Biden: Ignore Panel Advice and Embrace Supreme Court Expansion

"The GOP's rigged bench is contorting our laws," said Sen. Ed Markey. "We need to pass legislation to expand the Supreme Court."

Jake Johnson ·

Tory Lawmaker Stabbed to Death During Meeting With Constituents in UK

"Horrific and deeply shocking news," said Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer in response to the assassination of MP David Amess.

Common Dreams staff ·

New Study Reveals Poor, Low-Income Voters Were Crucial in Toppling Trump in 2020

The findings challenge "the media-driven narrative... that white low-income voters are the de facto base of the Republican Party."

Julia Conley ·

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