Two top ExxonMobil lobbyists were caught on camera admitting that despite an appearance of supporting some climate policy now, the company is still lobbying against climate change legislation, UK’s Channel 4 News first reported. The footage was obtained by an undercover reporter working for Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s investigative platform, who posed as a headhunter.
In the footage, lobbyist Keith McCoy explains how the company has been targeting senators to downplay or remove climate measures from the president’s infrastructure plan, and says he has been speaking with Senator Joe Manchin’s office on a weekly basis. He also revealed that Exxon uses its support of a carbon tax as “a great talking point,” because it does not believe the policy has any real chance to actually become law. In addition, McCoy admitted the company worked with “shadow groups” to fight early climate legislation, claiming only that “there’s nothing illegal about that.”
Exxon’s chief executive Darren Woods released a statement in response, saying he was shocked by the claims and that they do not accurately reflect the company’s stance on climate change. “The recording we’ve heard today only solidifies what we already know: for decades, fossil fuel companies have lied to the public, to regulators, and to Congress about the true danger posed by their products,” Rep. Ro Khanna said in a statement. (Unearthed, Channel 4, New York Times $, The Hill, Insider, Bloomberg $, Reuters, The Guardian, Axios, Gizmodo, Washington Examiner, Reactions: Channel 4, Wall Street Journal $)