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After Decades of Deceptive Claims and Misleading the Public by Big Oil, Democrats Call for DOJ Investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability today referred evidence of deceptive and misleading practices by Big Oil and industry groups to the U.S  Department of Justice for further investigation and potential prosecution. As noted in a letter to the DOJ, the evidence was uncovered during a nearly three-year investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s history of making deceptive claims about its products, the impacts it has on climate change, and attempts to mislead the public about the impacts of burning fossil fuels. In response, David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program, issued the following statement: 

“It is essential that the Department of Justice investigate the fossil fuel industry’s misconduct. Strong evidence already in the public domain suggests that Big Oil has likely violated a number of federal laws. And yet, as this letter makes clear, there is ample reason to think the industry is hiding even worse wrongdoing.

“This summer, as Americans face another lethal season of heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and other climate-fueled catastrophes, the Department of Justice should begin investigating standing up to the powerful actors that are endangering communities nationwide.”

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