Dems want DOJ to probe Shell on climate change

A trio of House Democrats is asking the Department of Justice to investigate Royal Dutch Shell’s “deception” on climate change science.

Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.), Peter WelchPeter WelchTrump to continue paying ObamaCare subsidies House Democrats call for revoking Kushner’s security clearance Pelosi seeks to unify Dems on ObamaCare fixes MORE (Vt.) and Matt Cartwright (Pa.) cited reports in the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News to accuse Shell of working with Exxon Mobil Corp. to lie to the public about climate change and the impact from fossil fuels.

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“The alleged behavior by multiple actors suggests there was a conspiracy between Shell, ExxonMobil and potentially other companies in the fossil fuel industry,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“We request the DOJ investigate whether Shell violated, or conspired to violate, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), consumer protection, truth in advertising, public health, or other laws,” they said.

The letter represents an escalation of the Democrats’ fight against Exxon, which started last year with previous reports by the Times and InsideClimate.

The publications reported that Exxon had a good grasp of climate science as early as the 1970s and was at the cutting edge of research. But it later downplayed the dangers and sowed doubt about climate change as part of its efforts to fight numerous policies to cut carbon emissions.

The lawmakers previously asked Lynch to investigation Exxon, and now it’s looping in Shell.

“In this case, Shell engineers knew about climate change and Shell took internal actions based on its knowledge of climate change,” they wrote. “Yet shell funded and publicly engaged in a campaign to deceive the American people about the known risks of fossil fuels in causing climate change.”

The attorneys general of New York and California are investigating whether Exxon broke state laws.