October is shaping to be a big month for climate change action. On October 28 six CEOs from major oil companies and trade associations will testify before Congress at a hearing about the industry’s role in spreading climate change denial. It will be the first time in history when fossil fuels executives are coming to Congress to address this issue.
The chief executive officers that will testify are from ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute, and the US Chamber of Commerce. They were invited by Rep. Ro Khanna from California and House Oversight Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York) by letters last month.
The executives have previously declined similar invitations from lawmakers. However, it appears that this time they complied only because Khanna threatened them with subpoenas.
“We are deeply concerned that the fossil fuel industry has reaped massive profits for decades while contributing to climate change that is devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and ravaging the natural world…We are also concerned that to protect those profits, the industry has reportedly led a coordinated effort to spread disinformation to mislead the public and prevent crucial action to address climate change,” wrote Khanna and Maloney.
There have been lawsuits from climate activists and state and local governments to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their anti-climate change actions. However, most of those lawsuits are pending or have failed.
The public and scientists involved in fossil fuels climate change denial efforts that have testified are claiming oil companies have run deceitful campaigns and have lied to the public about the climate crisis for decades.
It is a documented fact that Exxon has known about the threat of climate change since the 1970s and has been trying to cover up its existence ever since. Instead of transitioning their products and business model to low-carbon alternatives, they are reported to have pushed efforts to spread climate change denial, buy policies, and change scientific facts hazing the truth about climate change.
“Unlike the rest of us, the fossil fuel industry saw this climate chaos coming, then literally and figuratively added fuel to the fire, doubling down on a business model incompatible with the science of stopping global warming; buying political inaction; and building a global climate denial and delay machine that has confused the public and fomented distrust of science, media and government,” stated by Harvard University climate researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes.
Misinformation About Climate Change
Earlier this year, Greenpeace led an investigation on Exxon’s climate change lobbying war where Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy revealed how the oil giant has fought against climate change policies in the US.
Mr McCoy, who was set up by Greenpeace’s investigative journalism team, thought he was on a job interview and said private information regarding Exxon’s behind the scene practices to stop climate change mitigation strategies. One of the most shocking points he made was that Exxon’s support for a carbon tax is just a plot and the company does it only to appear green.
There come times when fossil fuel companies will be pressured to take responsibility for years of spreading climate change denial and thus exacerbating the international health and security threat that is global warming. They have reaped corporate profits from climate change inaction and to this day continue the business model of pumping oil and gas from the ground relentlessly.
As a result, they have contributed to increased ice sheet melting, devastating droughts, fires, hurricanes, floods, costing people billions of dollars, and destroying the natural world.
Due to rising demands from people around the world, climate change activists, and scientists, the oil companies previously spreading climate misinformation will be forced to tighten their belts and speed up efforts to transition away from fossil fuels with the same devotion they showed when fighting the truth about global warming.