Major oil CEOs denied knowledge of their firms’ historic climate science denial and disinformation as well as numerous aspects of their firms’ current operations in a House Oversight hearing Thursday that drew clear parallels to the Big Tobacco hearings of the 1990s. At the conclusion of the hearing, Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) announced she would subpoena documents from the four oil companies (Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP) and two trade associations (API and the U.S. Chamber of commerce), relating to their funding of “shadow groups” and “over 150 public relations companies” to spread climate disinformation.
None of the CEOs, nor the heads of their trade associations, were able to provide a clear answer for where they believed a carbon tax should be set — a policy they loudly proclaim to support — and none were willing to tell the industry’s major trade association, the American Petroleum institute, to cease funding anti-electric vehicle advertising.
“As a Black Congresswoman with asthma caused by fossil fuels and the teargas you fund,” Rep. Cori Bush told the witnesses. “You should all resign.” (Hearing: CNN, E&E News, Gizmodo, Grist, Washington Post $, Buzzfeed, New York Times $, NBC, Bloomberg $, Wall Street Journal $, Politico Pro $, The Hill, New York Times $, The Hill, NBC, Good Morning America; Subpoenas: Heated, CNN, Reuters, UPI, LA Times $, The Hill)