House Democrats confronted off in opposition to executives representing the oil and gasoline business’s greatest gamers on Thursday, accusing their firms of spreading disinformation concerning the connection between fossil fuels and local weather change.
The Home Oversight Committee hosted the heads of Exxon Mobil, BP America, Shell, Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Congress to reply to allegations that, with enter from in-house Exxon scientists, the business knew carbon-based fuels had been contributing to world warming way back to the Nineteen Seventies however coated it up, one thing members characterised as an analog to tobacco firms and the dangerous results of cigarettes.
“Exxon and different large oil firms had the chance to inform the reality and paved the way to seek out different power sources. However as an alternative, Huge Oil doubled down on fossil fuels,” Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney mentioned in a gap assertion, asserting the business “ran a coordinated marketing campaign to mislead the general public, disguise the hazard of its personal product, and derail world efforts to scale back greenhouse emissions.”
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Members additionally criticized the teams for his or her lobbying efforts and emphasised the necessity to cut back fossil gasoline use to chop emissions.
“I believe one factor that usually will get misplaced in these conversations is that a few of us have to truly stay the long run that you just all are setting on fireplace for us,” mentioned Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The executives boasted about their employment numbers and pitched the business because the driving power behind financial improvement and superior dwelling requirements enabled by fossil fuels.
“These of us lucky sufficient to stay and work in the US and different developed international locations usually take as a right our prepared entry to power. That’s not the case for billions of individuals world wide,” mentioned Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods.
Woods and the others additionally acknowledged that carbon-intensive business has an impact on the local weather, saying their firms are already investing in applied sciences to scale back their carbon footprint however insisted that fossil fuels are nonetheless a key piece of the power pie.
“This does not imply BP is getting out of the oil and gasoline enterprise,” David Lawler, CEO of BP America, mentioned after discussing the corporate’s investments in renewables and different clear power applied sciences. “As we transition, our oil and gasoline enterprise will proceed offering the power the world wants whereas funding our investments in wind, photo voltaic, and different renewable power sources.”
The listening to was a part of Democrats’ bigger effort to help a swift economywide transition away from fossil fuels and to renewable and different carbon-free sources of power.
Following months of negotiations, the White Home introduced a $1.75 trillion spending framework Thursday in help of that effort, which devotes $555 billion to power and local weather provisions aimed toward deploying extra clear power and lowering emissions.
Republicans have been taking the offensive in opposition to Democrats’ power and local weather agenda in latest days, which continued throughout Thursday’s listening to.
“I will inform you what’s irritating is a member of Congress telling American oil and gasoline firms to scale back manufacturing on the similar time the president of the US is begging OPEC to extend manufacturing,” mentioned Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. “That could be the dumbest factor I’ve ever heard.”