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Democrats in the Senate and House Assert that Oil Companies Have Transitioned from Denying Climate Change to Engaging in ‘deception, Disinformation, and Doublespeak’

Oil Company (Credits: CNN)

A recent report released by Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee and the House Oversight Committee reveals that major oil companies have privately admitted that their public pledges to reduce planet-warming emissions are incompatible with their business plans.

The report, which builds on a previous Oversight probe, includes internal documents showing that oil industry figures have acknowledged the industry’s history of knowingly suppressing the link between fossil fuels and climate change.

The report alleges that oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute (API), have modified their strategy over the years from outright denial to “deception, disinformation, and doublespeak.”

ExxonMobil (Credits: Premium Times Nigeria)

They have erroneously positioned natural gas as a climate-friendly “bridge fuel” to renewables, while internally acknowledging that their long-term business strategies are not compatible with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The report also alleges that the industry has publicly expressed support for climate legislation and regulations, while privately lobbying against them or relying on trade groups to do so.

This is consistent with comments made by former ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy, who admitted that the company “aggressively [fought] against some of the science” on climate change. The committee alleges that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, API, and the Chamber continually obstructed the probe.

Chevron (Credits: ET EnergyWorld)

Senate Budget Committee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) stated, “For decades, the fossil fuel industry has known about the economic and climate harms of its products but has deceived the American public to keep collecting more than $600 billion each year in subsidies while raking in record-breaking profits.”

The report comes ahead of hearings by the Budget Committee, with House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) among the scheduled witnesses. Oil companies and entities named in the report have pushed back against its characterizations, with some claiming that the report cherry-picks documents and presents unfounded allegations.

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