Oil and gas contribute to global warming. Energy companies have known this for decades – without moving. On Thursday, they were questioned in Congress.
I think nicotine is not addictive.
This ruling threw all the top leaders in the tobacco industry under one he heard In 1994. It was a historic day in the US Congress. For the first time, industry leaders dubbed “Big Tobacco” were held accountable to politicians. They have been accused of making money from something they know is harmful.
On Thursday, it was “Big Oil”‘s turn to do the same: ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell. Top executives of the four largest US oil and gas companies have been questioned by the Congressional Oversight Committee.
Here is the most important thing to see from Thursday’s session:
1. What is going on?
The Democrats have power in Congress now. They are concerned about the climate issue. Now they are working on the so-called Investigation – audit. They look at how the oil and gas industry has dealt with the climate issue in recent decades.
The company “Big Oil” is accused of opposing policies that could limit global warming. This is despite the fact that they are aware of the risks.
As part of the investigation, top corporate executives have been invited to a hearing. He also became leaders of the two most important industrial organizations, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Chamber of Commerce. They swear to tell the truth.
2. On what basis?
Since 2015, critics of “Big Oil” have received more and more shots. Here are some of the bases of knowledge on which the claims are based:
- It turns out that many of the largest companies themselves have been at the forefront of climate research. They knew they were contributing to global warming as early as the 1980s. She has both newspapers Inside Climate News And Watchman famous researchers highlighted.
- With the climate issue gaining a foothold, companies have spent significant resources questioning the negative effects of their activities. According to one Great research article As of 2019, they used the same technologies as the tobacco industry.
These points are now repeated In a new report The Oversight Committee published Thursday.
– A very long time ago big oil They evaded responsibility for their role in causing the Earth’s climate catastrophe. Democrat Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the oversight committee, said the matter stops today.
3. What did the senior managers respond?
Senior managers were allowed to submit their own posts as they had previously written. The following moments were repeated:
- Companies believe that the climate crisis is serious and that emissions must be reduced.
- They deny spreading false information about the climate crisis.
- They stress the importance of oil and gas to US energy supplies and jobs.
- They want to be part of the solution, but warn of tough cuts before “reliable” alternatives are in place. Many point to the carbon dioxide tax as a good measure.
Then they received direct questions:
Senior managers answered yes that they believe in global warming and that it is man-made. They also agreed that fossil fuels have contributed significantly to global warming. They felt it was urgent to find solutions.
However, they have warned against downsizing their industry. They believe this will put the power supply at risk.
ExxonMobil’s chief executive, Daron Woods, has come under pressure. “The claim of so-called global warming is far from watery,” former CEO Lee Raymond said in 1997. Meanwhile, the company sat in research that said the opposite.
– Do you agree that there is a contradiction there? asked Maloney.
“No, I don’t agree with that,” Woods replied.
He said the company’s vision for the climate crisis has evolved in line with the research consensus.
4. What is the feedback?
The companies received support from several Republican representatives. They believe that President Joe Biden’s climate policy is hurting the country. Among other things, he canceled plans for a new oil pipeline called Keystone. He witnessed a welder lose his job when the project was cancelled.
“This hearing is a distraction,” Republican James Comer said.
– I want to say sorry to everyone who followed here. “I would like to thank the energy companies for ensuring our country has a stable energy source,” Republican Pete Sessions said.
Many Democrats have reacted to the way companies spend money to influence politicians. Since 2011, they’ve spent $452 million on lobbyists. But only 0.4 percent of the money is used to work for the carbon dioxide tax, the “solution” that businesses want the most.
Democrats have rebuked companies, among other things, over plans to expand oil and gas fields. They have been criticized for supporting organizations working against climate measures such as electric cars.
Caroline Maloney compared them to “big tobacco”:
– It turned out in the end that they were lying. Nicotine was very addictive. I wish you were better. not to lie. She said, but I was disappointed.
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