The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mike Meno, Center for Climate Integrity, 

Big Oil Execs Will Testify at Historic Congressional Hearing

Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and BP Executives Will Face Questions About Industry’s Role in Spreading Climate Disinformation; Companies Are Fighting Lawsuits in More than Two Dozen States and Municipalities For Lying About Products’ Role in Climate Change


Executives from four of the world's largest oil and gas companies, as well as two industry trade associations, have agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on October 28 as part of an expanding congressional investigation into Big Oil's historic and ongoing campaigns to deceive the public about their products' role in causing and fueling the climate crisis, Rep. Ro Khanna told The Washington Post.

The testimony from ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods, Chevron CEO Michael K. Wirth, BP America CEO David Lawler, Shell President Gretchen Watkins, American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark, would mark the first time that Big Oil executives will have to answer questions under oath about their industry's well-documented efforts to spread disinformation in order to obstruct climate action.

Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ro Khanna requested that the executives appear as witnesses and provide a slew of documentation related to their companies' potential role in disinformation.

The Center for Climate Integrity has compiled some of the public evidence of the companies' climate deception at

Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, released the following statement:

"Thanks to the determination of Chairs Maloney and Khanna, the stage is now set for a historic showdown that will help expose Big Oil's decades-long efforts to lie to the American people about climate change.

"Just as Congress caught the 'Seven Dwarfs' of Big Tobacco lying under oath about the harm their products caused, this committee has an opportunity to make the 'Slippery Six' of Big Oil answer to the American public for their persistent lying about their products' role in causing climate change.

"We will never achieve the transformational climate policies we need until we stop oil and gas companies from lying about their role in causing the crisis and obstructing solutions."

ExxonMobil Lobbyist Admitted to Company's Climate Deception, Fear of Testifying:

In June, ExxonMobil's senior federal lobbyist admitted on tape that the company has used "shadow groups" to undermine climate science and oppose government action, and that the company only publicly supported a carbon tax because it would never pass and was a good "talking point."

In that same recording, Keith McCoy, ExxonMobil's senior director of federal relations, said: "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."

Background on Lawsuits Seeking to Hold Big Oil Accountable for Climate Deception:

Since 2017, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, as well as 20 city and county governments in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Washington, have filed lawsuits to hold major oil and gas companies accountable for deceiving the public about their products' role in climate change.

The Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) helps cities and states across the country hold corporate polluters accountable for the massive impacts of climate change.

(919) 307-6637