October 28, 2021

The fossil fuel industry’s Big Tobacco moment

Today, executives from some of the largest fossil fuel corporations, including Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell will testify in front of the U.S. House Oversight Committee. The actions of these corporations — which have fueled the climate crisis and delayed meaningful action to address it — have shaped our lives immeasurably.

I started organizing for climate justice as a young person because I didn’t believe that a few big corporations should be calling the shots on my future. Today, I’m turning 26, and the future is still on my mind.

Looking ahead, it can be pretty hard to stay optimistic. There are plenty of days when I want to give up hope that our government, which bails out the fossil fuel industry and looks the other way when elected officials meet with their lobbyists, will do anything to protect our future. But then, there are days like today. 27 years ago, Big Tobacco executives stood up in front of congress and lied under oath that nicotine is not addictive. Four years later, in a landmark decision called the Master Settlement Agreement, those corporations were forced to pay up for their lies and abuses.

So today, I have hope. Because today, the dominoes for Big Oil’s fall are all lined up, and the House Oversight Committee has a powerful finger poised to knock over the first one.

Together, we can urge the House Oversight Committee to tip that domino and make this dangerous, disingenuous industry pay for the damage it has done. We can urge all of Congress to take action and bring its full power to bear on the fossil fuel industry. Will you join me? Write to your member of Congress now!

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