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

Derek Andersen
P. Mark Schwalbe
trina seefeldt
Richard Stallman Stallman
Maria Magana
Jan Karpel
Colleen Posley
Charlie K K
Susan Swan
Thom Fistner
Lovice Holland
Clay Starlin
Terry Huxhold
Hyo Song
Sabrina Kager
Frank A. Brincka
Melanie Feder
Mary Beth Oconnor
Allison Staffan
jo pa
Christopher Lish
Angela Miller
Lena Rehberger
Marilyn Sandler
denise mack
Chris Hughes
Raphael Pristoop
Pauline Erera
Jeanine Fair
Evan Beattie

Showing 1787 reactions

  • Derek Andersen
    signed 2015-12-20 13:49:00 -0800
    I am a Columbia alumnus
  • P. Mark Schwalbe
    signed 2015-12-20 13:01:18 -0800
  • trina seefeldt
    signed 2015-12-20 12:58:28 -0800
  • Richard Stallman Stallman
    signed 2015-12-20 12:50:57 -0800
  • Maria Magana
    signed 2015-12-20 12:36:28 -0800
  • Jan Karpel
    signed 2015-12-20 12:11:27 -0800
  • Colleen Posley
    signed 2015-12-20 11:31:46 -0800
  • Charlie K K
    signed 2015-12-20 11:15:13 -0800
  • Susan Swan
    signed 2015-12-20 11:14:34 -0800
    I am counting on you to do the right thing.
  • Thom Fistner
    signed 2015-12-20 11:09:53 -0800
    Of all places, the university should be a model of intellectual and ethical integrity. You are falling far short in this regard.
  • Lovice Holland
    signed 2015-12-20 11:05:18 -0800
  • Clay Starlin
    signed 2015-12-20 10:22:35 -0800
  • Terry Huxhold
    signed 2015-12-20 10:09:40 -0800
  • Hyo Song
    signed 2015-12-20 10:05:30 -0800
  • Sabrina Kager
    signed 2015-12-20 09:45:20 -0800
  • Frank A. Brincka
    signed 2015-12-20 09:39:58 -0800
  • Melanie Feder
    signed 2015-12-20 09:32:25 -0800
  • Mary Beth Oconnor
    signed 2015-12-20 09:00:29 -0800
  • Allison Staffan
    signed 2015-12-20 08:39:23 -0800
  • jo pa
    signed 2015-12-20 08:32:07 -0800
  • Christopher Lish
    signed 2015-12-20 07:31:37 -0800
  • Angela Miller
    signed 2015-12-20 07:13:08 -0800
  • Lena Rehberger
    signed 2015-12-20 07:12:32 -0800
  • Marilyn Sandler
    signed 2015-12-20 06:57:02 -0800
  • denise mack
    signed 2015-12-20 06:54:07 -0800
  • Chris Hughes
    signed 2015-12-20 06:05:54 -0800
  • Raphael Pristoop
    signed 2015-12-20 05:06:48 -0800
  • Pauline Erera
    signed 2015-12-20 05:00:27 -0800
  • Jeanine Fair
    signed 2015-12-20 04:49:51 -0800
  • Evan Beattie
    signed 2015-12-20 02:58:09 -0800