Democrats To Begin Year-Long Investigation Into Big Oil ‘Disinformation’ Campaign


House Democrats are set to begin a year-long probe into major oil corporations’ alleged decades-long “disinformation” campaign on climate change.

Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna, the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment, an outspoken critic of oil companies, is spearheading the investigation alongside Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney. On Thursday, executives from some of the largest fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, will testify at a committee hearing related to the investigation.

“This will be a year-long investigation and the hearings mark the beginning of it,” Khanna told Reuters. “The idea is for them to admit to the American people what they have done.”

The committee accused the fossil fuel industry of hiding scientific evidence tying their business to global warming since 1977, in a document announcing Thursday’s hearing. Oil companies have also spread “denial and doubt” about whether fossil fuels contribute to climate change which has undermined potential legislative actions, according to the document.

Khanna and Maloney first revealed the investigation in September when they wrote letters to fossil fuel industry leaders and executives requesting information on their alleged involvement in spreading climate “disinformation.”

“We are deeply concerned that the fossil fuel industry has reaped massive profits for decades while contributing to climate change that is devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and ravaging the natural world,” the two Democratic leaders wrote to the hearing participants.

“We are also concerned that to protect those profits, the industry has reportedly led a coordinated effort to spread disinformation to mislead the public and prevent crucial action to address climate change,” they continued.

Khanna and other lawmakers likened the probe to the 1994 congressional “Big Tobacco” hearings, according to Reuters. Those hearings, led by former Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California, ultimately revealed that tobacco companies worked to hide evidence showing the p... (Read more)

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