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While ExxonMobil has decades of sowing public skepticism about climate science and the impact of fossil fuels there mayor various lawsuits, secretly recorded videos released Wednesday revealed how the company continues to fight against U.S. efforts to address the climate emergencies.
Published on OPENED, Greenpeace UK’s investigative journalism arm, and the British Channel 4 News, the capture of ExxonMobil lobbyists has sparked new calls for congressional action to keep oil and giant gas answer
the videos, captured by unearthed reporters pretending to be a recruitment consultant, featured Keith McCoy, a senior director at ExxonMobil’s Washington, DC government affairs team, and Dan Easley, a senior director for federal relations until leaving the company for a clean technology firm last year.
“Amid a deadly heatwave, Exxon Tapes has shown how Exxon’s climate has gone from outright denial to doubling our government and economy,” he said. SAYS Lindsay Meiman, communications manager at 350.org US. “Exxon has known and lied about the climate crisis for decades, and our communities have borne the costs.”
“As the window for action quickly closes, this footage confirms what we all know-Exxon continues to deliberately block the necessary climate action to reduce accountability,” Meiman added. “We urge Congress to immediately investigate Exxon’s climate crimes and fossil fuel, and make those who pollute their destruction pay.”
This tape only reinforces what we already know: fossil fuel companies have been lying to the public, regulators, and Congress about the dangers of their products for years.
I plan to ask the CEOs of Exxon, Chevron, and other fossil fuel companies to testify before my Environment Subcommite. https://t.co/b2gKCAV50t
– Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) June 30, 2021
McCoy said in a Zoom call, secretly recorded in May, that ExxonMobil questioned the scientific consensus on the climate crisis and targeted centrist lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) – “I talk to his office every week,” the lobbyist admitted – to turn back President Joe Biden’s infrastructure resistance.
“Are we fighting aggressively against some science? Yes Are we hiding our science? Not really,” he said. “Did we join some of the ‘shadow groups’ to act against some early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that. You know, we’re looking for our investments – we are looking for our shareholders. “
McCoy also said that “we’re playing defense, because President Biden talked about this huge infrastructure package and he’s going to pay for it by increasing the companies tax. That’s why it’s a dangerous balance that we have. asking for help for tax here [lobbying for subsidies for a carbon capture project] and we said, do not lay our taxes here. ”
He further suggested that ExxonMobil’s public support for the carbon tax was merely an “effective advocacy campaign,” saying: “No one would give a tax to all Americans and my victims said, yes , we know that, it gives us a point to say we can say, what is ExxonMobil good for? However, we are up for a carbon tax. ”
– Akshat Rathi (@AkshatRathi) June 30, 2021
Easley, who was chief White House lobbyist at ExxonMobil when former President Donald Trump was in office, “laughed when asked by an undercover reporter if the company had achieved so many policy victories under Trump, in the victories of allowing fossil fuel and the negotiation of the NAFTA trade agreement have not yet been outlined, ”reports Unearthed.
“You have to Google ads‘ ExxonMobil ’and‘ Donald Trump, ’” Easley said. “So he live-Facebook from the West Wing our big drill on the Gulf project, he talked to us in the two Union States, we got protection in resolving the dispute that the state invested in NAFTA, we were able to the permit environment is reasonable and You know, getting tons of permits. ”
“Wins are equally hard to… categorize everyone,” Easley added. “I mean, the tax should be the biggest one right. The corporate rate reduction, you know, probably costs Exxon billions, so yes there are a lot of wins.”
In a statement, Chairman of ExxonMobil and chief executive officer Darren Woods doubled past climate promises and tried to distance the company from the footage:
“Comments made by individuals in any way do not represent the company’s position on a variety of issues, including climate policy and our strong commitment that carbon pricing is essential to address climate change. climate.The individuals interviewed were never involved in developing the company’s policy positions on the issues discussed.
“We condemn the statements and we apologize for them, including comments about talking to elected officials. They all disagree with the way we expect their people to behave. We are shocked by these interviews and stands by our commitments to work to find solutions to climate change. “
However, climate experts and promoters pointed to the footage as confirmation of the findings from the company’s previous investigations.
Harvard University researcher Geoffrey Supran, who has published several scientific papers about the company’s efforts misleading the public, said the videos showed that “ExxonMobil has been an unreliable climate change actor for 30 years, and still is.”
2 / n: “I don’t believe the public has publicly recognized its role in climate control,” I said. @UEthe @ lawrencecarter1. “To have active staff… recognizing past conduct is important and relevant to the ongoing litigation… against the company.”https://t.co/1O9yMqiNC8
– Geoffrey Supran (@GeoffreySupran) June 30, 2021
Since 2017, 26 U.S. state and local governments have filed lawsuits against major fossil fuel companies for misleading the public about the role of their climate emergency products, according to the Center for Climate Integrity.
Center executive director Richard Wiles said Wednesday that “this bombshell recording also proves that ExxonMobil is simply unreliable by policymakers.”
“They lie about climate science and the role of their products in the climate crisis,” Wiles continued. “They lied about their commitment to climate solutions. And they lied to protect their depths, with no respect for the disasters that destroy their products that sustain our planet and everything on it.”
“It is time for members of Congress to stop bidding on oil and gas lobbyists and executives who have no interest in solving the climate crisis,” he added, “and instead hold them accountable. “
I can hardly speak. An Exxon official admitted, on camera, how the company would act to prevent effective climate action by using third party “whipping boys” so no one would know they were.
These recordings should be played on every TV station in the world. https://t.co/Ag0dKyuz6M
– Emily Atkin (@emorwee) June 30, 2021
among protests through climate advocates in Washington, DC this week, Democratic leaders are working on details of a rehabilitation package to be passed along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill Biden announced recently with centrist in Congress.
In his response to the ExxonMobil videos, Fossil Free Media director Jamie Henn focused on federal infrastructure law.
“If you’re wondering who’s to blame for putting Biden’s climate agenda on life support, we know now: ExxonMobil,” Henn said. “The recordings will help clear the battle lines for the next infrastructure negotiation: It could be a fight between Exxon and the American people.”
Henn agreed, “The question for President Biden and members of Congress is: whose place is it?”
“It’s no coincidence that many of Exxon’s‘ chief senators ’support the bipartisan infrastructure package, rather than a realistic plan to address the climate crisis,” he added. “They did exactly what he asked for. Exxon: Protect company revenue at all costs. “
“President Biden needs to show us that he’s not Exxon’s puppet,” Henn concludes, “by also putting climate at the center of his agenda.”
Meanwhile, Unearthed assured that in the coming days, its reporters will also reveal the “secret claims that Exxon is fighting to prevent the ban on toxic chemicals” and “how Exxon uses its playbook on climate change to ease regulations plastic. ”
Originally published on Common Dreams.