07.12.16

What Phony Op-Eds About Climate Change Have In Common

BEGINNING IN 1999, the Department of Justice pursued (and ultimately won) a civil lawsuit against several major tobacco companies. By denying the negative health effects of tobacco, the suit alleged, the industry was engaging in fraud. Today, researchers often compare the fossil fuel industry’s support for an array of groups that propagate climate change denial to the tobacco industry’s pattern of denial of the dangers of its product. Last spring, I wrote an opinion piece recommending a similar civil investigation into the fossil fuel industry for spreading fraudulent information about climate change. At a subsequent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Iasked Attorney General Loretta Lynch whether the Justice Department had taken steps consistent with a civil fraud investigation to explore the industry’s possible culpability.

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By:  Sheldon Whitehouse
Source: Columbia Journalism Review