Examining the Oil Industry’s Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change

Date: 
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 10:00am
Location: 
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
“Examining the Oil Industry’s Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change”

CHAIRMAN RASKIN'S OPENING STATEMENT

PURPOSE

The Subcommittee will examine how the oil industry’s climate denial campaign has negatively and disproportionately affected people of color and vulnerable populations in our country and around the world, as well as drowned out the voices of everyday Americans.

BACKGROUND

  • Decades of climate denialism by the oil industry forestalled meaningful government action to avert the current crisis.  As early as the 1960s, oil giants like Exxon knew that climate change was real and that the burning of fossil fuels was a major contributor to the problem.  
     
  • The lack of government action on climate change has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities who are often harmed “first and worst” by climate change. 
     
  • Climate denial not only led to these devasting effects on vulnerable populations; it also represents a distortion of our democracy, as powerful, moneyed interests control the conversation and drown out the voices of average Americans who are paying the price of climate change.
     
  • Despite efforts to rehabilitate their image by pledging to stop supporting think tanks and lobbyists who promote climate denialism, Exxon has continued to fund climate deniers.  Exxon still continues to fund organizations “steeped in climate denial and delay” to this day, clear evidence that it has not changed since its initial pivot from climate science to denial. 
     
  • Despite the already devasting effects of climate change, Exxon shows no signs of slowing down on its production of fossil fuels.  To the contrary, Exxon and other oil companies continue to explore for more oil, meaning they are not taking the problem of climate change or the development of alternative fuels seriously. 

WITNESSES

Dr. Mustafa Ali
Vice President, Environmental Justice Climate and Community Revitalization
National Wildlife Federation

Ms. Sharon Eubanks
Of Counsel, Henderson Law Firm, PLLC

Dr. Ed Garvey
Former Exxon Scientist

Ms. Mandy Gunasekara
Founder, Energy 45, Senior Fellow, Life: Powered Project

Dr. Martin Hoffert
Former Exxon Consultant

Dr. Naomi Oreskes
Professor, History of Science, Harvard University

116th Congress