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BREAKING: Big Oil’s “Slippery Six” will testify before Congress
Rep. Ro Khanna says CEOs of the world’s biggest oil companies and trade associations will answer questions about their decades-long deception on climate.
Emily Sanders is the Center for Climate Integrity’s editorial lead. Catch up with her on Twitter here.
The CEOs of Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, the Chamber of Commerce, and the American Petroleum Institute (aka Big Oil’s “whipping boy”), have agreed to testify at a historic Congressional hearing on climate disinformation later this month, Rep. Ro Khanna, the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Environment Subcommittee, told Maxine Joselow at The Washington Post today.
The committee’s planned October 28 hearing would be the first time Big Oil executives will have to answer questions under oath about their industry’s well-documented efforts to spread disinformation in order to kneecap climate action, which continue to this day. It’s still unclear whether the CEOs would show up in person.
The historic testimony would come just months after (now-former) Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy was caught on tape revealing the company’s efforts to block government climate action and lie to the public about its commitment to climate solutions.
McCoy also said testifying in front of Congress is basically Exxon’s worst nightmare: “Our CEO was invited to a hearing from a member of Congress who we know is just going to rip him to shreds when he goes there. The main thing that they’re looking at is to get ExxonMobil in front of a Congressional hearing so they can rip us apart.” 👀
What remains to be seen is whether the CEOs will actually come clean about their decades-long campaigns to deceive the public and lie about the science proving their products were dangerous, for which they’ve been sued by more than two dozen cities, counties and states — or, for that matter, their current-day efforts to greenwash their climate-wrecking business operations and fight climate policies “tooth and nail.” When Big Tobacco CEOs showed up to answer questions about their deception at a televised hearing in 1994, they were caught doubling down on their lies.
“The major mistake in the tobacco hearings was that they lied under oath,” Khanna told the Washington Post. “And if I had one piece of advice for these executives, it would be, 'Don't lie. Tell the truth.'”
In response to outreach from the Post, API and the Chamber of Commerce cited their commitment to so-called climate solutions. Of course, the API has bombarded Facebook with ads attacking the climate provisions in President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, and the Chamber of Commerce is going all out in its opposition to the bill. Not a great start here, folks.
You can learn all about the Slippery Six, and the skeletons in their respective closets, here.
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