ExxonMobil executives privately sought to undermine climate science even after the oil and gas giant publicly acknowledged the link between fossil fuel emissions and climate change, according to previously unreported documents revealed by the Wall Street Journal.
The new revelations are based on previously unreported documents subpoenaed by New York’s attorney general as part of an investigation into the company announced in 2015. They add to a slew of documents that record a decades-long misinformation campaign waged by Exxon, which are cited in a growing number of state and municipal lawsuits against big oil.
Many of the newly released documents date back to the 2006-16 tenure of former chief executive Rex Tillerson, who oversaw a major shift in the company’s climate messaging. In 2006, Exxon publicly accepted that the climate crisis posed risks, and it went on to support the Paris agreement. Yet behind closed doors, the company behaved differently, the documents show.
In 2008, Exxon pledged to stop funding climate-denier groups. But that very same year, company leadership said it would support the company in directing a scientist to help the nation’s top oil and gas lobbying group write a paper about the “uncertainty” of measuring greenhouse gas emissions.