4. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS CAMPAIGNS & PUBLIC INTEREST INVESTIGATIONS
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) conducts Know Your Rights Campaigns (KYRC) around issues and problems in society that are being mismanaged and are ripe for whistleblowers to come forward and expose the truth. A complex, rich set of laws and regulations at the federal and state level have been adopted over time that protect whistleblowers from retaliation and allow them to continue safely with their careers if they so choose. GAP educates potential whistleblowers and the public about their rights in plain terms – through blog posts on our website and other means – about what to expect and how to conduct oneself when considering exposing a wrongdoing and going public. Our tested Know Your Rights methodology is sophisticated and effective, having been honed for forty years.
- Gulf Coast Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Corexit: Insiders within core aspects of the fossil extraction industry know why certain practices are perilous for the environment in ways that must be exposed and brought to public attention. One of our most successful Know Your Rights Campaigns was directed toward workers who helped to clean up the Gulf Coast after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Over 40 whistleblowers have come forward so far to disclose serious health effects from exposure to the dispersant Corexit, health effects that represent a major public health threat, and the massive damage to the marine environment.
- Oil Industry Culpability in the Global Warming Denial Machine — Big Oil Leaks: We also target KYRC’s towards federal, state and corporate employees who witness wrongdoing associated with climate change. GAP program Climate Science & Policy Watch’s (CSPW) most active KYRC in 2017, “Big Oil Leaks,” is directed at the Exxon Mobil Corporation and other major oil and gas companies who have engaged in the decades-long attempt to manipulate public opinion and thwart public policymaking addressing the climate change threat by putting a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. CSPW is now working with strategic partners to conduct education and outreach in key geographic areas and targeted towards key demographics.
- CSPW Fossil Extraction KYRCs: These CSPW KYRCs are similarly targeted at federal, state and corporate employees who know about wrongdoing associated with climate change concerns and regarding regulatory policy development and implementation, research, or energy industry practices. We have already launched and are seeking to expand two ongoing targeted public education investigations: one focused on educating workers about their rights to blow the whistle while highlighting the dangers of the fossil extraction process and oil and gas transport by rail and pipeline; and the other to educate workers about their rights while highlighting the environmental dangers of fracking, raising awareness on the issue and launching a broad public interest investigation into the practice.