Democrats to investigate oil companies over climate disinformation

Gasoline costs on an indication at a BP gasoline station in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

The Home Oversight Committee on Thursday expanded its investigation into the fossil gasoline business’s involvement in spreading disinformation in regards to the position fossil fuels play in inflicting local weather change.

Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Subcommittee on the Setting Chairman Ro Khanna, D-Calif., referred to as on prime executives at ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and lobbying teams American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to testify earlier than Congress subsequent month.

Oil and gasoline corporations have confronted a slew of lawsuits from cities and states throughout the U.S. over their investments in campaigns to undermine local weather coverage and downplay the influence of burning fossil fuels on international warming.

The probe additionally comes as Democrats look to go main local weather and clear vitality coverage within the funds reconciliation invoice, efforts which have confronted opposition from some fossil gasoline corporations.

In letters to the businesses and teams Thursday, the committee requested paperwork on the reported position of the oil and gasoline business in a long-term branding and lobbying marketing campaign to unfold local weather disinformation and undermine local weather coverage.

The five-biggest publicly traded oil and gasoline corporations — Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP and Complete — spent $1 billion to advertise deceptive climate-related branding and lobbying between 2015 and 2018, in response to a report from local weather lobbying group InfluenceMap that the committee cites in its letter.

“We’re deeply involved that the fossil gasoline business has reaped huge income for many years whereas contributing to local weather change that’s devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of {dollars}, and ravaging the pure world,” read the letter to Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods.

“We’re additionally involved that to guard these income, the business has reportedly led a coordinated effort to unfold disinformation to mislead the general public and stop essential motion to handle local weather change,” the letter learn.

The committee additionally requested executives to provide paperwork associated to disinformation by the tip of the month and make sure by Sept. 23 whether or not they plan to seem on the listening to.

API spokeswoman Bethany Aronhalt stated that the group “welcomes the chance to testify once more” and “advance our priorities of pricing carbon, regulating methane and reliably producing American vitality.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokesman Matt Letourneau stated the committee’s management “has a basic misunderstanding” of the chamber’s place on local weather change and work to forge options.

“The Chamber believes that the local weather is altering, that people are contributing to these modifications, and that inaction on local weather is just not an choice,” he stated. “We all know that sturdy coverage is made by means of bipartisan motion, so we have been working exhausting with members of Congress from either side of the aisle to enact local weather options.”

BP spokesman Josh Hicks stated the corporate has acquired the letter and is advocating for insurance policies like carbon pricing and regulating methane to assist the Paris Settlement and assist transition the world financial system to net-zero emissions. Curtis Smith, a spokesman for Shell, stated the corporate seems ahead to working with the committee and “strongly helps” a transition to a lower-carbon future.

Chevron stated the corporate is reviewing the letter. Exxon stated the corporate acquired the letter and can proceed to speak with committee employees. | Democrats to research oil corporations over local weather disinformation


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