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U.S. House panel to probe oil companies over climate disinformation By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) delivers an opening statement during a hearing before the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform focused on the cost of prescription drugs, in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., Sept

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic lawmakers on Thursday asked the chiefs of four major fossil fuel companies 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.

House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, sent letters to chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:), Chevron Corp (NYSE:), BP (NYSE:) USA, Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) Oil Co, asking them to appear before a hearing on Oct. 28 and provide emails and documents.

These requests were also sent to the American Petroleum Institute and Chamber of Commerce heads of the lobbying group.

Maloney spoke through a spokesperson that she plans to find out how fossil fuel corporations have made billions at the expense our planet’s health and spread doubt about the dangers associated with fossil fuels.  

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Exxon and other industry organizations funded ninety-one think tanks and advocacy groups that minimize global warming, according to the explanatory letter.

This comes months after an Exxon lobbyist stated that public support for a carbon tax was a con. He claimed the proposal to reduce climate change wouldn’t gain enough support from the political system. Darren Woods (Exxon’s Chairman and Chief Executive) condemned the comments the day they were broadcast.

Also, the Democrats want to pass climate-related measures in the large budget reconciliation bill. Many of them are opposed by fossil fuel industry because they may increase drilling and mining costs.

BP stated that it supports policies like carbon pricing and regulation of methane emissions to support the world’s transition towards net zero emissions by 2050.

Curtis Smith from Shell said the company did not have any comment at this time. Two other companies didn’t immediately reply to inquiries for comment.

Bethany Aronhalt from API stated that the organization is happy to give evidence and help “advance” its priority of pricing carbon, regulation methane, and reliable production of American energy.

The Chamber spokesperson said that the Chamber believes inaction is unacceptable on climate change and has worked with legislators on “most prominently” the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

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