The Road Not Taken

This nine-part history of Exxon’s engagement with the emerging science of climate change is the result of an eight months-long investigation conducted in 2015. The stories span four decades, and are based on primary sources, including internal company documents dating back to the late 1970s; interviews with former company employees; and other evidence published for the first time by ICN.

We found that decades ago, Exxon conducted cutting-edge climate research and then worked at the forefront of climate denial, manufacturing doubt about the scientific consensus that its own scientists had confirmed.

This series was named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and earned national recognition from many other quarters. It spawned the popular hashtag #ExxonKnew and many climate liability lawsuits.