Democrats adopt climate change science investigation in platform


Members of the Democratic National Committee’s platform panel have formally endorsed federal investigations into climate research at fossil fuel companies, including a high-profile probe into Exxon Mobil Corp.

While forming their platform this weekend, members of the committee included language saying, “all corporations owe it to their shareholders to fully analyze and disclose risks they face including climate risks,” according to Inside Climate News

{mosads}“Those who fail to do so should be held accountable. Democrats also respectfully request the Department of Justice investigate allegations of corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies accused of misleading shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.”

The platform didn’t name Exxon, but the company has become the highest-profile target for Democratic attorneys general, who are looking into claims it misled the public about the extent of its knowledge about climate change. 

Exxon has denied the allegations and fought back against the investigations, calling them an infringement on the company’s First Amendment rights.

Both presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders, who appointed members to the platform committee, have called for a federal investigation into Exxon. 

Despite the climate science amendment — and a call to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 — the committee rejected a host of other environmental issues, including a call to ban fracking, end fossil fuel production on federal lands and put a price on carbon pollution.

In a statement, RL Miller, the cofounder of the green group Climate Hawks Vote, typified environmentalists’ response to the committee, saying she was “thrilled” by the fossil fuel investigation plank and “happy” with the renewable energy goal.

“However, we don’t see how we’ll make that bold leap with baby steps — and appalled by the incrementalist approach adopted by the majority of the committee,” she said. 

Updated at 11:27 a.m.

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