Democratic chair issues subpoenas to oil executives

Nov 2, 2021, 1:46 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2021, 2:05 am
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, speaks at ...

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, speaks at committee hearing on the role of fossil fuel companies in climate change, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas Tuesday to top executives of ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil giants, charging that the companies have not turned over documents needed by the committee to investigate allegations that the oil industry concealed evidence about the dangers of global warming.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said she tried hard to obtain the information voluntarily, but “the oil companies employed the same tactics they used for decades on climate policy — delay and obstruction.”

The subpoenas follow a high-profile hearing last week in which top oil executives denied spreading disinformation about climate change as they sparred with Maloney and other Democrats over allegations that they deliberately misled the public about the risks of global warming.

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods testified that his company’s public statements on climate “are and have always been truthful, fact-based … and consistent” with mainstream climate science, a claim Democrats sharply disputed.

In addition to ExxonMobil, the committee issued subpoenas to executives at Chevron, Shell and BP America, as well as the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Leaders of all six groups appeared at the Oversight hearing last week.

Spokesman Casey Norton said Tuesday that ExxonMobil has been cooperating with the committee for months and has provided nearly 130,000 pages of documents, including internal emails.

J.P. Fielder, a spokesman for BP America, said the company is carefully reviewing the subpoena and will continue working with the committee. BP says it has provided more than 17,000 pages of documents, including internal materials.

Several lawmakers compared last week’s remote hearing to a 1994 session with tobacco executives who famously testified that they didn’t believe nicotine was addictive. Maloney and other Democrats sought to pin down oil executives on whether they believe in climate change and that burning fossil fuels such as oil contributes to global warming.

Democrats accused the oil industry of engaging in a decades-long, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming.

“They are obviously lying like the tobacco executives were,´´ Maloney said of oil executives after hearing their testimony.

Republicans accused Democrats of grandstanding over an issue popular with their base as President Joe Biden’s climate agenda teeters in Congress. Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the panel’s top Republican, dismissed the hearing as “partisan theater for primetime news.”

Democrats for months have been seeking documents and other information on the oil industry’s role in stopping climate action over multiple decades. The fossil fuel industry has had scientific evidence about the dangers of climate change since at least 1977, yet spread denial and doubt about the harm its products cause– undermining science and preventing meaningful action on climate change, Maloney and other Democrats said.

Woods and other oil executives said they agreed with Maloney on the existence and threat posed by climate change, but they refused her request to pledge that their companies would not spend money — either directly or indirectly — to oppose efforts to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Turkish health care workers protest mounting violence

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Health care professionals took to the streets in several Turkish cities on Thursday to protest mounting violence against them, a day after a cardiologist was killed by the son of a patient. In Istanbul, police used pepper gas to disperse doctors and other health care workers who tried to march to […]
9 hours ago
FILE - A home with a "Sold" sign is shown, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.  Average long-ter...
Associated Press

Average long-term US mortgage rates retreat this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased again this week as the Federal Reserve remains likely to raise its benchmark borrowing rate in its ongoing battle to bring down inflation. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate fell to 5.30% from 5.70% last week. One year ago the average 30-year […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Ryan Kelley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks during a rally on Feb. 8, 2022 out...
Associated Press

Michigan governor hopeful pleads not guilty in Jan. 6 riot

A Republican candidate for Michigan governor pleaded not guilty Thursday for his actions during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he says he and other supporters of then-President Donald Trump were exercising their free speech rights. Ryan Kelley appeared via video for a brief hearing in federal court, weeks after […]
9 hours ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Foreign analysts say Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in eastern Ukraine as the Russian military attempts to reassemble its forces for a significant – and what it hopes could prove decisive – offensive to conquer the neighboring country. On Wednesday, Russian forces made no claimed or assessed territorial gains […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Medicines agency says EU is seeing ‘new wave’ of COVID-19

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A senior official at the European Union medicines agency said Thursday that many nations in the bloc are seeing a new wave of COVID-19, driven by highly-transmissible mutations of the omicron variant. The European Medicines Agency’s Marco Cavaleri told an online briefing that the BA.4 and BA.5 mutations are expected […]
9 hours ago
Motorists stop for fuel at gas stations in Detroit, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. As Congress and now the ...
Associated Press

Higher gas prices hurt pockets, make small dent in emissions

As Congress and now the Supreme Court stymie the Biden administration’s efforts to curb climate change, one thing the president doesn’t want – sky high gas prices – actually is nibbling away at emissions of heat-trapping gas. Gas prices in much of the United States shot past the $5 a gallon mark last month before […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Democratic chair issues subpoenas to oil executives