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

Joseph Wenzel
Russell Weisz
Diana Dee
Nancy Rosen
Kathy Stewart
Rhoda Mitchell
Yolanda Stern Broad PhD
Janet Moran
Pamela A. Lowry
Mary Kullman
Orion Litzau
Barbara Witney
Julie Spickler
Anne Zerrien-Lee
Lyle Funderburk
Laurie Habel
John AND Jean Fleming
Steve Wendt
Britta Voss
Dennis Thayer
Margaret Stein
Barbara Macalpine
Reba B.
Andrew Altamirano
Rosiris Paniagua
Sylvia Barnard
James Thomas
Dan Schneider
Robin Warner

Showing 1787 reactions

  • Joseph Wenzel
    signed 2015-12-19 16:57:08 -0800
  • Russell Weisz
    signed 2015-12-19 16:45:33 -0800
  • Diana Dee
    signed 2015-12-19 16:40:37 -0800
  • Nancy Rosen
    signed 2015-12-19 16:30:15 -0800
  • Kathy Stewart
    signed 2015-12-19 16:25:15 -0800
  • Rhoda Mitchell
    signed 2015-12-19 16:24:57 -0800
  • M W
    signed 2015-12-19 16:20:15 -0800
  • Yolanda Stern Broad PhD
    signed 2015-12-19 16:13:04 -0800
  • Janet Moran
    signed 2015-12-19 16:05:33 -0800
  • Pamela A. Lowry
    signed 2015-12-19 16:01:09 -0800
  • Mary Kullman
    signed 2015-12-19 15:38:47 -0800
  • Orion Litzau
    signed 2015-12-19 15:33:05 -0800
  • Barbara Witney
    signed 2015-12-19 15:19:43 -0800
  • Julie Spickler
    signed 2015-12-19 15:00:33 -0800
  • Anne Zerrien-Lee
    signed 2015-12-19 14:47:05 -0800
  • Lyle Funderburk
    signed 2015-12-19 14:47:00 -0800
  • Laurie Habel
    signed 2015-12-19 14:45:54 -0800
    Stop the corruption due from corporate donations.
  • John AND Jean Fleming
    signed 2015-12-19 14:38:27 -0800
  • Steve Wendt
    signed 2015-12-19 14:34:57 -0800
  • Britta Voss
    signed 2015-12-19 14:19:28 -0800
  • Dennis Thayer
    signed 2015-12-19 14:17:45 -0800
  • Margaret Stein
    signed 2015-12-19 14:01:42 -0800
  • Barbara Macalpine
    signed 2015-12-19 13:53:36 -0800
  • Reba B.
    signed 2015-12-19 13:52:21 -0800
  • Andrew Altamirano
    signed 2015-12-19 13:32:10 -0800
  • Rosiris Paniagua
    signed 2015-12-19 13:26:00 -0800
  • Sylvia Barnard
    signed 2015-12-19 13:17:00 -0800
    My daughter and son-in-law are both alumni of Columbia, the university that I respect more than any other in the US. (I myself studied in Canada and the UK.)
  • James Thomas
    signed 2015-12-19 13:10:11 -0800
  • Dan Schneider
    signed 2015-12-19 13:06:22 -0800
  • Robin Warner
    signed 2015-12-19 12:58:42 -0800