"'I think a RICO action is plausible and should be considered,' she said."
Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought more attention to the charges this week, sending a letter to the Justice Department asking for a probe of Exxon, bringing attention to an issue that has been bubbling up for some time. Sanders' press release explains the reason a probe is in order:
"'Exxon Mobil knew the truth about fossil fuels and climate change and lied to protect their business model at the expense of the planet,' Sanders said. He likened Exxon Mobil's conduct to claims by the tobacco industry about the health risks associated with smoking."
From Sanders' letter:
"These reports, if true, raise serious allegations of a misinformation campaign that may have caused public harm similar to the tobacco industry's actions -- conduct that led to federal racketeering convictions."
Polluting Democracy, Too
This propaganda and the money that propelled it has polluted our entire political system. Look into almost any organization (or political party) promoting "limited government" and complaining about "burdensome government regulation" and you will find oil money. This is not ideology; this is corruption. This is giant corporations trying to keep the government from doing something about their dangerous, destructive products.
This is a crime against our country and the world. It is a crime against our democratic system. The companies behind this enormous fraud on the public must be investigated for possible criminal activity. The front groups that disseminate anti-government, anti-regulation propaganda at their behest should be exposed as frauds and brought under control.
Now we have to move forward as quickly as possible to limit the burning of fossil fuels. Because of these companies and their fraud and disinformation, it is too late to stop the climate from changing -- but it might not be too late to ward off the worst effects.