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For Immediate Release

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Karl Frisch, 202-580-5813

Press Release

Oil CEO Backgrounds Cast Doubt on Alleged Climate Commitments

Lawmakers should be wary of what executives say at today’s big oil accountability hearing.
WASHINGTON -
This morning, several oil and gas companies that have previously dodged calls to testify will appear before the House Oversight Committee for a hearing on the oil industry’s disinformation efforts around climate action. Representatives from Chevron, Exxon, Shell, and BP are expected to join their trade groups the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the hearing.
 
“Oil industry executives want Americans to believe they are committed to combatting climate change and protecting public lands, but that’s nothing but lip service to ensure their wealthy executives keep getting huge checks,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “At today’s hearing, lawmakers should be wary of testimony from executives who have consistently put their industry’s bottom line over the health of the climate and the American people, no matter their rhetoric.”
 
Oil and industry group executives have frequently pedaled misleading and even false talking points to sow doubt about commonsense climate solutions while expanding their operations and belittling efforts to combat climate change. 
 
MORE BACKGROUND:
  • Chevron CEO Mike Wirth blamed his company’s emissions on consumer demand and argued it was better to give money to shareholders, who could use their profits to “plant trees,” than to invest in wind and solar.
     
  • Exxon CEO Darren Woods, who has boasted plans for Exxon to invest in “mega” oil and gas projects and $16-19 billion investments in oil and gas in 2021 alone — which he bragged would “dominate” oil and gas markets “for decades to come” — rejected evidence that further oil and gas development was environmentally harmful, and attacked the emission reduction goals of other oil majors as superficial “beauty competitions.”
     
  • Shell President Gretchen Watkins has admitted that Shell could “do more” on emissions reductions while her boss, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden, blamed consumers for emissions and argued that orders to reduce emissions are “not the answer."
     
  • BP America CEO David Lawler has pushed natural gas as a key part of a transition to clean energy transition despite its harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
     
  • American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers has repeatedly attacked activists’ climate change concerns, even blaming “activist communities and groups” for hindering affordable and accessible energy to all Americans, and called legal challenges to pipelines “without merit.” Sommers has also loudly opposed climate action policies and dismissed the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change
     
  • Chamber Of Commerce President Suzanne Clark has vowed to do “everything [the Chamber] can” to stop Congress’s biggest climate change bill ever and argued that there was "no environmental reason” to cancel the destructive Keystone XL pipeline — a project that had two major oil spills in two years, dumping nearly one million gallons of oil in nearby farm and wetlands, and faced widespread backlash and legal action from indigenous tribes including the Rosebud Sioux and Fort Belknap. 

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Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful. 

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