Letter writer: Exxon revelations prompt Asheville protest

Graphic by Lori Deaton

“Exxon Guilty!” This is the headline I would love to read in the near future. Recent reports from InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, Democracy Now! and others have revealed that Exxon concealed its own findings that fossil-fuel extraction causes global warming, alters the climate and is melting the Arctic.

This long-term deception is prompting calls for a federal probe similar to that which resulted in a racketeering conviction of Big Tobacco for hiding the dangers of smoking from the public. Rep. Ted Lieu of California, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others are calling for a federal investigation under [anti-corruption] RICO laws, which say no company can knowingly mislead the public in an attempt to protect profits at the expense of our health, safety and national interest.

Over 20 people demonstrated on Nov. 10 in front of the Exxon station on Merrimon Avenue to call attention to the recent revelations that Exxon knew in the ‘70s that fossil-fuel extraction would cause serious climate disruption and covered that information up. Exxon then funded a well-orchestrated campaign to sow doubt about climate change. Humanity lost over 30 years of time to address this crisis because of Exxon’s greed.

The demonstrators joined Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, the attorney general of New York, several Congress people and numerous environmental groups to call for a Justice Department investigation. Three of the demonstrators were arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience when they sat by the gasoline pumps holding signs that the pumps were “temporarily closed due to Exxon’s lies.”

If you want to act, please write the Asheville U.S. Attorneys office to demand an investigation at 100 Otis St. #233, Asheville, NC, 28801.

— Anne Craig

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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Exxon revelations prompt Asheville protest

  1. Leslie Graham

    So far as I understand it Exxon lying to the general public all these years is legal. It was also legal for them to set up and fund the front groups and ‘denierblogs’ to deliberately spread misinformation and doubt in order to undermine the science and slow efforts to curb CO2 emissions. The right to lie about the effects of CO2 emissions is part of democracy. You might not approve of it and it might be disgustingly immoral given the almost unimaginable consequences but they had the right to do it nevertheless.

    Lying to shareholders on the other hand is what we call ‘fraud’.

    This is where they have crossed the line from moral bankruptcy into criminality and this is why they are in trouble.

    Just my two cents worth.

  2. NFB

    Demonstrating in front of the Merrimon Ave Exxon station is silly and pontless at best, and mean spirited at worst. The owners and employees of the station have absolutely nothing to do with the decisions made by Exxon and trying to disrupt their business hurts people just trying to make a living in a world increasingly hostile to them. I an assure you that this action did NOTHING to affect Exxon and only made it harder for the owner of the station and the people who work there. These protesters should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. Joe Jones

    Yes, what Exxon did was inexcusable and dangerous.

    But complaining about it by Protesting in front of the Merrimon Exxon station? Just plain silly.
    Hard working people work there and your protest only harmed them. They had nothing to do with Exxon lieing. Your protest was just poor judgment. There are so many things worth protesting over and movements and causes worth taking up, but disrupting’s a family’s business, clouded whatever message you were trying to give the folks driving past.

    I support your reaction to Exxon but do not support your tactics. Before your next protest, be adults and do not hurt the local Exxon owner. We in Asheville need to support each other not hurt people for something that was not their fault.

  4. The Pontificator

    Enviro-weenies don’t let facts get in the way of a good protest no matter whom they hurt.

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