Report says ExxonMobil misled public for decades

The Los Angeles Times. Republished by The Omaha World-Herald

Researchers on Monday outlined a decades-long campaign of deception on climate change by the ExxonMobil oil company and the broader fossil fuel industry — and their success at confusing the American public. The report, which was published by scientists at Harvard, George Mason and Bristol Universities, draws parallels between the campaigns launched by tobacco companies and oil industries to mislead the public about their products, both with a goal of delaying government policies and regulations that could cut into their profits. The report was released two days before ExxonMobil is set to go to trial in New York’s Supreme Court in Manhattan on allegations of misleading investors about climate change. Continue reading here.

Download the Report: America Misled: How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change

Related Articles

  • Fossil fuel corporations have deceived the public on climate change, report says, Environment Journal. According to the report, scientists working for the fossil fuel industry knew about the warming effects of CO2 emissions as early as the 1950s. In an internal memo from 1977, the scientists wrote: ‘CO2 release is most likely a source of climate modification, doubling CO2 could increase average global temperature by 3 degrees by 2050.’ Geoffrey Supran, a research associate in the Department of History and Science at Harvard University said: ‘For 60 years, the fossil fuel industry has known about the potential global warming dangers of their product.’
  • Climate Change Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Companies Are Heating Up, by Ken Kimmell, Union of Concerned Scientists President, UCS Blog

Yale University Poll

Yale Poll Finds Majority of Americans Think ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Other Fossil Fuel Companies Should Pay for Climate Change Damage, Union of Concerned Scientists Blog

A striking new survey by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communications and supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that most Americans (57 percent) think fossil fuel companies should pay for the damages caused by global warming.

Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of Californians believe that fossil fuel companies should pay for climate damages. But so too do majorities in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico. And strikingly, so do majorities in Texas and Louisiana, both dominant centers of US oil and gas extraction, processing, and refining. Texas is also home to the headquarters for ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and the US arms of BP and Royal Dutch Shell. These results show widespread public support for the principle of “polluter pays” – that these companies should be held responsible to pay for the climate they have helped to create.

Interactive Map 

Support for Making Fossil Fuel Companies Pay for Climate Damages, Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication


Estimated % of adults who think fossil fuel companies are responsible for global warming damages (57%), 2019

This tool maps variations in Americans’ opinions about existing or potential lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. Climate scientists say the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) is causing global warming, which results in more extreme weather, droughts, wildfires, and flooding from sea level rise. We asked over 5,000 Americans who is responsible for the damages caused by global warming. The maps combine this nationally representative survey data with additional census and geographic data and modeling to depict the percentage of Americans in each state, congressional district, metro area, and county who hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the local damages of global warming.

Nebraska Data

  • A search by state shows that 50% of Nebraskans surveyed hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the local damage of global warming.
  • County searches, among others, show the following results:

Cherry County: 58%
Colfax County: 56%
Dawes County: 57%
Douglas County: 56%
Lancaster County: 55%
Thurston County: 61%