The Dems are Coming for Exxon

U.S. Democrat lawmakers Carolyn Maloney and Ro Khanna on Thursday asked the chiefs of four major fossil fuel companies (Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, BP USA, and Royal Dutch Shell Oil Co) and two lobbying groups to testify next month on whether the industry-led an effort to mislead the public and prevent action to fight climate change.

Oil and gas companies have faced a slew of lawsuits from cities and states across the U.S. after their investments in campaigns to undermine climate policy and downplay the impact of burning fossil fuels on global warming was revealed publicly.

This investigation comes at an interesting time, as Democrats look to pass major climate and clean energy policies in the budget reconciliation bill. 

Their efforts have faced heavy opposition from some fossil fuel companies, who see potential added costs towards drilling and mining. 

“I plan to get to the bottom of how fossil fuel companies have raked in trillions of dollars of profit at the expense of our planet and our health, all while spreading doubt and disinformation about the dangers of fossil fuels,” Maloney said through a spokesperson.

A video surfaced in June where an Exxon lobbyist said the company’s public support for a tax on carbon was a ruse, and that the plan to curb climate change would never actually gain the political support necessary to be adopted. Darren Woods, Exxon’s chairman and chief executive, condemned the lobbyist’s remarks.

Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, and Total spent $1 billion to promote misleading climate-related branding and lobbying between 2015 and 2018, according to a report from climate lobbying group InfluenceMap.

“We are deeply concerned that the fossil fuel industry has reaped massive profits for decades while contributing to climate change that is devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and ravaging the natural world,” read the letter to Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods.

“We are also concerned that to protect those profits, the industry has reportedly led a coordinated effort to spread disinformation to mislead the public and prevent crucial action to address climate change,” the letter read. 

These companies have been asked to testify on October 28th, where they will be required to provide documents and emails for the case. 

Photo Credits: ExxonMobil operation near Chicago, 2014. [Richard Hurd, Flickr]

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One Thought to “The Dems are Coming for Exxon”

  1. Barbara P

    They sure are it’s time for them to be voted out.

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