Congressman Jamie Raskin discusses his ongoing commitment to climate accountability, and what we can expect to see from him next.

In 2019, I attended the first-ever Congressional hearing about the oil and gas industry’s decades-long climate deception, chaired by Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. 

It was an unforgettable day: two former Exxon scientists testified, for the first time, about their cutting-edge research 40 years prior into how burning fossil fuels affected the climate. They confirmed that the company had intentionally sowed doubt and manufactured denial about the threat. In my memory, it was the first window into a future where the biggest perpetrators of the climate crisis could actually be held accountable at a systemic level. A month later, I started ExxonKnews.

Nearly five years after that hearing, congressional investigations into Big Oil have unearthed vast new evidence of how fossil fuel companies’ early climate denialism has evolved into today’s persuasive greenwashing campaigns, and unveiled the industry’s stealthy collaboration with PR firms and academic institutions. Last month, Raskin and Senate Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse formally referred their findings to the Department of Justice — calling on the department to “pursue further investigation and take any appropriate legal action” against fossil fuel majors who may have violated federal law. 

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