Columbia University: Admit Your Exxon Ties

Co-sign our letter to Columbia University President Dr. Lee Bollinger, asking that he compel Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia’s Global Center on Energy Policy, to release the names of the Center’s funders and amounts donated since its inception. Recently, it was revealed that ExxonMobil donated, through its foundation, $25,000 to the Center on Global Energy Policy in 2014. An examination of the Advisory Board of the Global Center on Climate Policy reveals that nine of 19 members have ties to fossil fuel industries.

Dear Dr. Bollinger:

We noted your recent request to Columbia’s School of Journalism Dean Steve Coll to review the allegations in a Nov. 22 letter by ExxonMobil PR executive Ken Cohen that Columbia University journalists unfairly reported the company had misled the public about climate change. We think it was generous of you to task Dean Coll with this review in the spirit of complete transparency. In that same spirit, we want to bring to your attention the long-standing resistance to just such transparency by Columbia’s Global Center on Energy Policy (CGEP) and its Founding Director Jason Bordoff. 

Now that POLITICO has revealed that ExxonMobil donated, through its foundation, $25,000 to CGEP in 2014, we ask that you insist the Center report its funding sources and amounts since it was created. 


Given your clear commitment to upholding the Columbia University values of balance and accountability, I am sure that we are bringing this to your attention for the first time. That’s why we respectfully request that you ask Mr. Bordoff for the same level of transparency that you insisted on from the School of Journalism. Will you compel Mr. Bordoff to release the names of CGEP's funders and amounts donated since its inception?


Scott Peterson, executive director, Checks and Balances Project
Ken Cook, co-founder & president, Environmental Working Group
Ross Hammond, US Campaigns director, ForestEthics
Mike Tidwell, director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Jane Kleeb, founder, Bold Nebraska
Tyson Slocum, director, Public Citizen
RL Miller, cofounder, Climate Hawks Vote
Columbia Divest for Climate Justice

Read the full letter here (PDF).

1,909 signatures

Who's signing

Linda Trevillian
Nils Bjork
Felicia Disalvatore
Lavina Blossom
A. Obermeier
Susan Pederson
Aaron Honore
Dan Meier
James Pickett
Lois Grosshans
Shanna Burgin
Jonathan Weinberg
Mark Escajeda
Samantha Turetsky
Chadwick Wright
Tilo Alex Shimada-Brand
Rochelle Rubin
Andrea Howard
Louise Blume
Kenneth Ashe
Norma Itule
Cheryl Fulton-Sears
Ana Berkenhoff
Joy Mamoyac
Todd Hack
Corinna Morton
Ira Gerard
William Resseguie
Joyce Green
Linda Morgan

Showing 1787 reactions

  • Linda Trevillian
    signed 2015-12-21 14:32:49 -0800
    A school of journalism teaches students to be journalists: to report the news accurately, completely, and in a timely manner. I applaud them for what they’ve done at Columbia. Do the right thing and let them do what they’re being taught to do. And, clean up your act, too, so they won’t have a reason to expose what shouldn’t be going on there. Thank you.
  • Nils Bjork
    signed 2015-12-21 13:48:24 -0800
  • Felicia Disalvatore
    signed 2015-12-21 13:46:13 -0800
  • Lavina Blossom
    signed 2015-12-21 13:18:32 -0800
  • A. Obermeier
    signed 2015-12-21 12:12:40 -0800
  • Susan Pederson
    signed 2015-12-21 11:39:01 -0800
  • Aaron Honore
    signed 2015-12-21 09:56:39 -0800
  • Dan Meier
    signed 2015-12-21 08:55:40 -0800
  • James Pickett
    signed 2015-12-21 08:34:06 -0800
  • Lois Grosshans
    signed 2015-12-21 08:21:17 -0800
  • Shanna Burgin
    signed 2015-12-21 08:03:15 -0800
  • Jonathan Weinberg
    signed 2015-12-21 07:53:52 -0800
  • Mark Escajeda
    signed 2015-12-21 07:48:06 -0800
  • Samantha Turetsky
    signed 2015-12-21 07:38:42 -0800
  • Chadwick Wright
    signed 2015-12-21 07:37:34 -0800
  • Tilo Alex Shimada-Brand
    signed 2015-12-21 07:36:01 -0800
  • Rochelle Rubin
    signed 2015-12-21 07:20:09 -0800
  • Andrea Howard
    signed 2015-12-21 07:06:39 -0800
  • Louise Blume
    signed 2015-12-21 06:34:00 -0800
  • Kenneth Ashe
    signed 2015-12-21 06:01:38 -0800
  • Norma Itule
    signed 2015-12-21 05:47:50 -0800
  • Cheryl Fulton-Sears
    signed 2015-12-21 05:08:53 -0800
  • Ana Berkenhoff
    signed 2015-12-21 01:18:47 -0800
  • Joy Mamoyac
    signed 2015-12-21 00:25:20 -0800
  • Todd Hack
    signed 2015-12-21 00:08:35 -0800
  • Corinna Morton
    signed 2015-12-21 00:03:49 -0800
  • Ira Gerard
    signed 2015-12-20 23:10:34 -0800
  • William Resseguie
    signed 2015-12-20 22:39:22 -0800
  • Joyce Green
    signed 2015-12-20 22:27:32 -0800
  • Linda Morgan
    signed 2015-12-20 22:12:01 -0800