Posted by Curt on 5 September, 2019 at 5:17 pm. 4 comments already!


Actually, Kamala Harris didn’t even get close to the truth in this answer at CNN’s climate-change forum last night. And unlike Joe Biden’s bleeding eyeball, CNN actually noticed it in a fact check. When challenged by a voter about how she would “rein in these disinformation campaigns of big business,” Harris said she already had a track record of suing companies over climate change — especially ExxonMobil, the giant oil company:

HARRIS: … What do we do? Well, this is what we did with the tobacco companies. We sued them. We took them to court. Because you know what happens, people who profit off of harmful behaviors, when you take away that money because you take them to court and you sue them as I have done, it’s extraordinary how they will change behaviors.

They have to be held accountable. And maybe this is the prosecutor in me. They have to be held accountable. These are bad behaviors. They are causing harm and death in communities. And there has been no accountability; certainly not by this administration nor, and I hate to say it so generally, by the republicans in Congress.

BURNETT: So Senator Harris, what would you do? Would you sue them?


BURNETT: Sue Exxon Mobil.

HARRIS: I have sued Exxon Mobil.

Speaking of disinformation and accountability, Harris has to answer for some herself. CNN put this statement at the top of its post-forum fact check and found that Harris flat-out lied about suing ExxonMobil. As attorney general in California, Harris opened a probe into the so-called #ExxonKnew scandal, but it went absolutely nowhere:

When CNN asked what Harris was referring to, campaign press secretary Ian Sams emailed us a 2016 article about her decision as attorney general to begin an investigation into whether ExxonMobil lied to the public and shareholders about its knowledge of the risks posed by climate change.

But she did not file a lawsuit before she left the post to become a senator in 2017, and her successor as attorney general has also not done so.

As Sams noted, Harris did take legal action against oil companies on multiple occasions as attorney general. For example, after filing lawsuits, she secured a $14 million settlement from BP and Atlantic Richfield Company and a $11.5 million settlement with Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips over allegations that they had violated laws governing underground fuel tanks.

Still, her claim at the town hall was that she sued ExxonMobil in particular, and it is false.

Harris’ other lawsuits had nothing to do with climate change or “rein[ing] in these disinformation campaigns of big business,” either. Those had to do with operational violations, not public relations claims. One leading California environmentalist activist immediately called shenanigans on Harris, even while other Twitter users were clipping out the answer as their favorite moment:

Her successor Xavier Becerra didn’t do anything with the case, either. It’s a bogus claim anyway, which likely explains why neither progressive Democrat wanted to take ExxonMobil to court, but it’s apparently easier to lie about this than to explain that non-action away. Especially on national television.

Harris also got caught in another fact-check. She took credit for cleaning the skies of Los Angeles, and CNN wagged its finger at that claim too:

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