Big oil to testify before Congress, new report confirms

“What we need from the fossil fuel industry is complete cooperation with our investigation, so the American people can understand the role the industry played in fueling the climate crisis.”

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Image Credit: DeSmogUK

In a new report, officials from large oil companies such as BP, Shell, Chevron and Exxon are set to testify before Congress regarding its “harmful practices” later this month. Oil executives will meet before the House Oversight Committee alongside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The hearing is set for Oct. 28, according to a committee spokeswoman.

“We expect each of the executives we invited to appear before our Committee and testify under oath,” the spokeswoman said.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, has wanted to oil executives to testify for months with several invitations from the committee. But as of recent, Rep. Khanna weighed his option to issue subpoenas

“If oil and gas companies really are proud of their business practices, then it wouldn’t take several dodged hearings and a subpoena threat for their executives to sit before Congress and defend themselves,” Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US., said.

Many invited executives confirmed they would testify at the hearing.

Curtis Smith, Shell’s spokesperson, confirmed that Gretchen Watkins, Shell President, will testify and Dave Lawler, BP America chairman and president, is set to testify, while Exxon Mobil spokesperson, Casey Norton, and Chevron spokesperson, Braden Reddall, confirmed each company’s commitment to work with the committee, but neither directly said an executive will testify in person, according to The Hill.

“What we need from the fossil fuel industry is complete cooperation with our investigation, so the American people can understand the role the industry played in fueling the climate crisis,” the committee’s spokeswoman said.

Many of the oil executives and trade groups expected to testify at the hearing have been sued by a number of states and localities “alleging misinformation over climate change,” The Hill reported.

“The American people have waited too long for answers about Big Oil’s efforts to poison the public against President Biden’s widely popular climate agenda,” Herrig said. “But the question remains—will these executives own up to the harm they’ve been trying to hide at this hearing, or continue to evade the truth?”

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