Major oil companies BP, Chevron, Exxon, and Shell, and the trade group the American Petroleum Institute, intentionally crafted the appearance of support for clean energy and environmental protection while internally working to ensure “the continued promotion of natural gas,” documents released Friday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform show.
The documents, released as a part of an ongoing House investigation into the oil and gas industry’s climate denial and greenwashing, “demonstrate how the fossil fuel industry ‘greenwashed’ its public image with promises and actions that oil and gas executives knew would not meaningfully reduce emissions, even as the industry moved aggressively to lock in continued fossil fuel production for decades to come — actions that could doom global efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change,” Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and environment subcommittee chair Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
The internal emails include a warning from Bob Stout, BP’s former U.S. VP and head of regulatory affairs, admitting BP’s intention to make methane gas a permanent “destination fuel,” adding “We would not want to spell all this out, but also not implicitly concede the point by referring to it mainly as a ‘bridge.'” The documents also include incredulity at criticism of oil majors’ sale of oil and gas assets to smaller, less accountable firms. (Washington Post $, Reuters, The Guardian, NBC, Bloomberg $, CNN, CNBC, The Hill, Politico, NBC, E&E $, Al Jazeera)