The Democratic Party supports using the long arm of government to prosecute companies who commit fraud by not disclosing the risks posed by climate change.
The party detailed its climate and energy positions Friday in a draft platform document issued weeks ahead of its convention that will be held later this month in Philadelphia.
"All corporations owe it to their shareholders to fully analyze and disclose the risks they face, including climate risk," the document said. "Those who fail to do so should be held accountable."
"Democrats also respectfully request the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies accused of misleading shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change," the platform read.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said earlier this year that she is examining what authority the Justice Department could use to investigate and prosecute companies when it comes to climate change.
The platform also gave cursory support to the 17 Democratic state attorneys general, led by the Virgin Islands and New York, who have been subpoenaing the oil company ExxonMobil over news reports it covered up data from its own scientists showing risks from climate change. ExxonMobil rejects the allegations.
In the last two days, however, the state attorneys general suffered a significant setback in their bid to hold the company accountable for its alleged climate fraud. The U.S. attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Claude Walker, who has been leading the campaign, withdrew its subpoena sent to the company on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Walker withdrew the final subpoena sent to the free-market think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute because of its ties to Exxon. The subpoenas requested years of communications, documents and emails on the subject of climate change.
CEI and Exxon argue that trying to prosecute a group or individual based on their views on a debatable topic is a violation of constitutional free speech protections.
Both CEI and Exxon had begun taking action in the courts over the last month, which the attorneys general appear to be responding to by backing off.
The Democratic energy plank includes three separate themes: Combating climate change, building a clean energy economy and securing environmental justice. The climate fraud actions are listed under the environmental justice theme.
The climate change component supports transitioning the nation to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. It also says the party believes combatting the global threat of climate change will create jobs and boost the economy, not harm it. The risks of not facing the threat would be catastrophic.
"Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time," the platform said. "Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred this century. While Donald Trump has called climate change a 'hoax,' 2016 is on track to break global temperature records once more. Cities from Miami to Baltimore are already threatened by rising seas."
"Democrats reject the notion that we have to choose between protecting our planet and creating good-paying jobs," it added. "We can and we will do both."