Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

#ExxonKnew sign in NYC in 2019

Climate activists protest on the first day of the ExxonMobil trial outside the New York State Supreme Court building on October 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Will They Lie or Finally Come Clean?: Watch Fossil Fuel CEOs Testify at Historic Hearing

"Will these executives own up to their misinformation, or keep trying to hide behind lies and spin?"

Andrea Germanos

U.S. House Democrats on Thursday are set to grill executives of top fossil fuel companies at what is being billed as a "historic" hearing on Big Oil's intentional and coordinated contribution to decades of climate misinformation.

"Big Oil will finally have to answer to the American public," Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), chair of the House Environment Subcommittee, said in a video message shared online Wednesday.

"I'm confident this historic hearing will change the opinion of Big Oil in America so that people understand what's going on," said Khanna, "and it will demand an accountability so that Big Oil will have to start becoming part of the climate solution instead of simply talking about being part of the climate solution."

The U.S. House of Representatives hearing—entitled "Fueling the Climate Crisis: Exposing Big Oil's Disinformation Campaign to Prevent Climate Action"—is set to begin at 10:30am, and, according to climate activist and Fossil Free Media director Jamie Henn, it's "going to be a wild ride."

Watch the hearing live below:

Khanna, along with House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), sent letters to the executives in September seeking further information on their "long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming," threatening subpoenas should they not comply with the request to appear at the hearing.

Set to testify are ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods, BP America CEO David Lawler, Chevron CEO Michael K. Wirth, Shell Oil president Gretchen Watkins, American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark.

In a statement ahead of the hearing, Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog group Accountable.US, urged the executives to be truthful before lawmakers.

"For too long, oil companies have skirted responsibility for their harmful campaign of disinformation aimed at swaying Americans against commonsense policies to protect public lands and fight the climate crisis," said Herrig.

"Will these executives own up to their misinformation, or keep trying to hide behind lies and spin?"

"It shouldn't have taken several dodged hearings and a subpoena threat for these executives to come before Congress," he added. "With the American people watching, will these executives own up to their misinformation, or keep trying to hide behind lies and spin?"

Writing for Covering Climate Now, Mark Hertsgaard offered a similar question about the remarks the industry executives will make, and noted that "the case against them, drawn from their own files, is detailed, plentifully, and damning."

"Will these executives finally admit their companies' lies and take responsibility for the havoc they’re caused?" asked Hertsgaard. "Or will they keep lying, if only by proclaiming that they are now climate champions working to solve the crisis engulfing humanity?"


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

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo