Democrats investigating oil companies for climate propaganda

Texas News Today

Fuel prices on a BP gas station signboard in Louisville, Kentucky, Friday, January 29, 2021.

Luke Charlotte | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Thursday’s House Oversight Committee expanded its investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s involvement in misinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change.

Commission Chair Carolyn Maloney (D.N.Y.) and Environmental Subcommittee Chair Lou Cana (D-Calif.) are from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and the lobbying group Americas. We met with top officials from the Petroleum Association and the US Chamber of Commerce. Testify before Congress next month.

Oil and gas companies are facing multiple lawsuits from cities and states across the United States for investing in campaigns that undermine climate policy and reduce the impact of fossil fuel burning on global warming.

This scrutiny is carried out even as the Democratic Party is attempting to pass key climate and clean energy policies in its budget adjustment bill. This is an effort facing opposition from some fossil fuel companies.

In a letter to companies and groups on Thursday, the commission documented the oil and gas industry’s alleged role in long-term branding and propaganda and lobbying to undermine climate policy. requested.

Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP and the five largest public oil and gas companies in total carried deceptive climate-related branding between 2015 and 2018, according to a report by the commission’s climate lobbying group Influence Map. And that letter spent a billion dollars promoting lobbying.

“The fossil fuel industry has contributed to climate change, ravaged the American community, cost taxpayers billions of dollars and devastated the natural world,” read a letter to Exxon CEO Darren Woods. However, I am deeply concerned that it has made huge profits over the decades.”

“We are leading collaborative efforts by industry to prevent disinformation, mislead the public, and critical actions to address climate change to protect these interests. I am concerned about this,” the letter read.

The commission also urged the officials to prepare the documents related to the propaganda by the end of the month and see if they plan to attend the hearing by September 23.

API spokeswoman Bethany Aronhard said the group “welcomes the opportunity to testify again” and “advance the priorities of carbon pricing, methane regulation and reliable production of energy in the United States.” ..

US Chamber of Commerce spokesman Matt Ritornaud said the commission’s leadership “has a fundamental misunderstanding” about the US Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change and is seeking a solution. where did it go.

“The Chamber of Commerce believes that the climate is changing, that humans are contributing to those changes, and that inaction on the climate is not an option,” he said. “We know that sustainable policies are being created through bipartisan action, so we will work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to develop climate change solutions for the rest of our lives. I am working hard.”

A Chevron spokesperson said the company is considering the letter. An Exxon spokesperson said the company received the letter and was in contact with the committee’s staff.

Other recipients of the letter did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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