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

Em Ryan
David Hill
Shirley English
John Crotty
Paulina Watson
Adam Molvin
Lydia Sherwood
Lynn C. Lang
Rehana Huq
Tim Hayes
janna piper
L Glasner
dane Bowen
Samantha Feuss
Eric West
Paul Jefferson
Gloria Shen

Showing 1787 reactions

  • Em Ryan
    signed 2015-12-18 08:41:12 -0800
    Transparency, please!
  • David Hill
    signed 2015-12-18 08:41:09 -0800
  • Shirley English
    signed 2015-12-18 08:40:45 -0800
  • John Crotty
    signed 2015-12-18 08:40:35 -0800
  • Paulina Watson
    signed 2015-12-18 08:40:13 -0800
  • Adam Molvin
    signed 2015-12-18 08:40:01 -0800
  • Lydia Sherwood
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:44 -0800
  • Lynn C. Lang
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:33 -0800
  • Rehana Huq
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:27 -0800
    I am a Columbia parent
  • Tim Hayes
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:13 -0800
  • janna piper
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:10 -0800
  • L Glasner
    signed 2015-12-18 08:39:07 -0800
  • dane Bowen
    signed 2015-12-18 08:38:39 -0800
    Global warming is REAL. Unless we stop the oil companies we may all die.
  • Samantha Feuss
    signed 2015-12-18 08:38:39 -0800
  • Eric West
    signed 2015-12-18 08:38:37 -0800
  • Paul Jefferson
    signed 2015-12-18 08:37:50 -0800
  • Gloria Shen
    signed 2015-12-18 08:37:47 -0800