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Big Oil Used Big Tobacco's Denial Playbook—But Will They Pay the Same Price?


Big Oil Used Big Tobacco's Denial Playbook—But Will They Pay the Same Price?

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Will the fossil fuel industry, which misled the public for decades about the risks of climate change, eventually pay the steep price that Big Tobacco did after lying for decades about the health hazards of smoking?

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch this week acknowledged that the U.S. Justice Department has "discussed" taking civil legal action—as it did against tobacco companies—against the fossil fuel industry for its decades-long intentional suppression of climate science.


Look out, Big Oil! Badass Loretta Lynch is comin’ after you! You’re gonna have to PAY for your crimes!

Lynch responded: “This matter has been discussed. We have received
information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether
or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on. I’m not
aware of a civil referral at this time.”

Well, then again, maybe not…


I am so glad the end of climate change denial is near. It truly was an Orwellian nightmare for me, as I first learned of the greenhouse gases in the seventies while studying physics, chemistry, and environmental science. It was as plain as could be that increases in carbon dioxide would tend to warm up the planet. Fuck Bernays, Goebbels, and Big Oil right up their tailpipes.


[quote=“BlessedlyHolpHither, post:2, topic:19572”]

The price tag for this outrageously egregious crime should properly be nationalization. Sorry, shareholders, your turn to lose big.


Yes, very good idea. Let’s see, the govt confiscates private property and then gets into oil extraction themselves. Now here’s the kicker, in order to appease whiners they will subsidize the price increasing consumption. I wonder how come nobody thought about it before? Oh, wait, they did, in Argentina, and after the govt screwed everything up, they had to go hat in hand to some multinational company to sell it for pennies on the dollar.


No, the government nationalizes all fossil fuel industries, raises the price quickly and steeply, with or without a carbon tax or fee and dividend, offers assistance to those who can’t afford to pay more, takes deep, deep cuts out of executive pay, and takes every penny it collects from all the fossil fuel industries to build clean safe renewable energy infrastructure as fast as humanly possible, giving priority to public utilities, worker-owned businesses and non-profit organizations. When that process is completed (should be less than 10 years if we expect civilization to survive the next century) it liquidates the industries.

In addition, all the crimes, including the millions of felony murders that have already happened, and the billions to come, should be prosecuted. As an alternative, executives should also be offered a truth and reconciliation process, in which the former executives confess all relevant acts, turn over all documents, agree to forfeit all money and other goods and considerations made since the crimes began, agree never to hold a position of responsibility in business, government, non-profit or religion.

The whiners will have to learn to appease themselves. It’s part of being older than 7.


Really? Like all the governments that nationalized fossil fuel industries did exactly that. A government that wants stay in power gives away free stuff.

That does sound kinda cool. Like in Maoist China? Maybe they should be sent to reeducation camps instead.


I dont see much happening…It will take a long time to bring it to court…The GOP will do everything they can to stop it.


The private property you talk of is public lands…Oil companies hate to buy land it cost money and property taxes…They like mooching off tax payers and using public lands for profit plunder and pollution…and leaving it polluted…Meet the real welfare state…


Actually they pay leases on that land, either to the government or to the owner but that’s besides the point. I am talking about the other assets of the company.


I’m not sure what Big Tobacco ended up paying – weren’t there huge cuts?

And did it work out that they had to pay into health care/Medicare for every cancer patient?

Also keep in mind that it wasn’t just Exxon – there were a number of companies involved, but
of course Exxon was most prominent. Mobil, BP, Shell at the least.

And, they were heavily aided by the NY Times which accorded them the use of their Op-Ed page
for 25 years or more to run articles where they lied to the public.
These articles couldn’t be replied to nor challenged because they were … “ad-editorials.”
That’s the protection the NY Times provided their lies.

The oil industry should have been nationalized a 100 years ago. Our MIC uses 80% of our oil.
Actually, oil is a “national security” issue – NO Oil/NO War.

And we’ve protected the industry all over the world in their filthy dealings and destruction.

And by the way, who’s going to jail?

How many cancer patients caused by tobacco – which our government was subsidizing – and
no one went to jail – though they lied, lied, lied.


Just a couple of points:

  1. You might want to study the history of Argentina
  2. Did it ever occur to you that governments are composed of PEOPLE who collaborate on the components of branches of government?

Interesting that neither of these are considered in your posts and that collaboration is essential to the above in those governments, but not infrequently selectively withhold information and criminalize people among other things when communities engage in collaborative efforts directly impacting access to the essentials of life utilizing the same legitimate social structures?