BERN NOTICE: As Exxon Trial Begins, Bernie Is Promising A Criminal Probe of Fossil Fuel Execs

Bernie demanded a federal investigation of Exxon in 2015 -- he will make it happen as president

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The “climate trial of the century” begins today against ExxonMobil, which stands accused of hiding potential climate-related costs from its investors. This particular trial is a civil case — but it is worth remembering that when Bernie defeats Donald Trump, he is planning to launch a criminal investigation of fossil fuel corporations and their executives who knowingly destroyed the planet’s ecosystem.

The idea is popular: The Huffington Post reported that a recent YouGov poll found “Nearly 62% of voters said they’d support legal liability for energy companies or utilities ‘if it could be proven that they misled the public about the consequences of climate change.’”

In 2015, Bernie sent a letter to the Attorney General urging the Justice Department to open a criminal probe of ExxonMobil.

During Bernie’s 2019 speech introducing his Green New Deal, he outlined the basis of his pledge to criminally investigate fossil fuel corporations and executives. He said:

We are finally going to end the fossil fuel industry’s legal immunity. Now what does that mean? This is an important issue. 

Look, everybody makes mistakes, everybody in this room has made a mistake, every doctor has made a mistake, every engineer has made a mistake, even politicians ocasionnally make mistakes… 

If somebody produces a product and it turns out to be a harmful product and they say oh my god we didn’t know that, that is one thing. And that happens all the time. But when somebody produces a product which they knowingly understand to be harmful, that is a different situation…

Documents have emerged as many of you know in court cases that show that the top fossil fuel executives have known for decades that their products were destroying the planet, and they buried those documents in order to continue making as much money as possible. 

So there is a difference between ignorance – just not knowing – and suppressing the truth. 

Make no mistake about it: what the executives of Exxon Mobil and other fossil fuel executives are doing is exactly what the tobacco industry did when it lied about the health risks associated with smoking - conduct that led to federal racketeering convictions.

When I am president, I will appoint an Attorney General who will finally hold the executives and the fossil fuel industry accountable for their criminal behavior.

When Bernie defeats Trump, the era of legal immunity for corporate criminals is over.

Bern after reading,