Why does Energy In Depth – a research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America – have a website on climate litigation and the #ExxonKnew campaign? Simple: because these lawsuits aren’t about any one particular energy company. They are a tactical component of a much broader anti-fossil fuel campaign known as “Keep It In the Ground.” The lawsuits are part of a strategy to use climate change as a weapon to silence dissent and shut down American energy production.
Back in 2012, the environmental activists now leading the climate litigation campaign met in La Jolla, Calif., to strategize how to convince government officials to demonize and ultimately prosecute energy companies for causing global warming. Sounds too silly to be true, right? Well, it happened. They even produced a report spelling it all out. You can read that here.
Fast forward a few years, and every major anti-fossil fuel group is tweeting about #ExxonKnew and celebrating frivolous lawsuits that blame American energy companies for global warming. Activists are cheerfully encouraging state attorneys general to harass and intimidate anyone who disagrees with them, even non-profit groups that simply oppose certain climate policies.
This kind of sophisticated and well-funded campaign is not just a threat to American energy companies; it’s a threat to our economic livelihood. It’s a threat to all the men and women who work in the oil and natural gas industry. And yes, by attacking American oil and natural gas production, it’s a direct threat to our future energy security. Although it is being conducted under the guise of climate change, this anti-fossil fuel campaign – if successful – would not solve any environmental problems; it would only create new hardships for American families.
On this site, you’ll find more information about Keep It In the Ground’s climate litigation strategy, including #ExxonKnew. You’ll learn about the wealthy family that bankrolls it (the Rockefellers) and the manufactured “fake news” echo chamber that allows activists to maintain a constant stream of media attention. But you’ll also find other information on climate change, like how natural gas has been the primary reason why the United States has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions in recent years, and how the industry is reducing methane emissions even as development expands. These are critical data points for any discussion on climate change, but unsurprisingly, the groups prosecuting the #ExxonKnew campaign refuse to disclose them.