Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Carolyn Maloney

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)—seen here at a hearing earlier this month—made a surprise announcement at the end of an October 28, 2021 congressional hearing on Big Oil climate misinformation that she would subpoena three fossil fuel companies and an industry lobby group. (Photo: Bill Clark/Pool/Getty Images)

House Dem Announces Subpoenas to 'Get to the Bottom' of Big Oil's Climate Disinformation

"We are at code red for climate," Rep. Carolyn Maloney said during a congressional hearing, "and I committed to doing everything I can to help rescue this planet and save it for our children."

Brett Wilkins

In a surprise move at the end of Thursday's highly anticipated congressional hearing on fossil fuel companies' climate misinformation, the chair of the House Oversight Committee announced she will subpoena four Big Oil corporations and an industry lobby group that she accused of not cooperating with the panel's investigation.

Maloney said she plans to subpoena ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to compel them to hand over documents they've withheld concerning the fossil fuel industry's efforts to misinform the public about their causal role in the climate emergency.

"We are at code red for climate and I committed to doing everything I can to help rescue this planet and save it for our children," she said during her closing remarks.

"We need to get to the bottom of the oil industry's disinformation campaign," Maloney added, "and with these subpoenas, we will."

Earlier during Thursday's hearing, Maloney—who said she had draft subpoenas ready to serve—attempted to force executives from the so-called #SlipperySix oil companies to commit to no longer funding opposition to emissions reductions and climate action.

"Unsurprisingly," she said, "no one took the pledge."

In a statement noting the subpoenas, Kyle Herrig, president of watchdog group Accountable.US, called out the industry executives for refusing to force their powerful trade group to stop undermining climate action.

"Time and again, wealthy oil and gas company executives were given opportunities to tell API to stop bankrolling the fight against climate and environmental initiatives they claim to support, but they refused each and every time,"he said.

"These executives spend massive sums of money on feel-good ad campaigns designed to convince consumers their oil and gas companies care about our planet," Herrig added, "but when push comes to shove, they fund API to do their dirty work and endorse its misinformation campaigns with silence."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Peace Advocates Sound Dire Warnings as Progressives Go All-In for $40 Billion Ukraine War Package

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned," says one activist. "But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine."

Brett Wilkins ·

Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Strictest US Abortion Ban While Roe Still Stands

Reproductive rights supporters vowed to fight against the ban that begins at fertilization and, like legislation in Texas, "creates a bounty-hunting scheme" for enforcement.

Jessica Corbett ·

Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·

Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·

Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo