Fueling the Climate Crisis: Examining Big Oil’s Prices, Profits, and Pledges
On Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. ET, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Ro Khanna, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment, will hold a hearing to examine Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell’s record-breaking profits, discuss the adequacy of their climate pledges, and hear firsthand accounts from survivors of climate change-induced severe weather events.
In 2021, Exxon’s net profits were more than $23 billion, Chevron reported profits of $15.6 billion, BP netted its highest profits in eight years at $12.8 billion, and Shell brought in $21.1 billion. The fossil fuel industry’s profits have only increased in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the past quarter, since the start of the Ukraine War, five major oil companies raked in $55 billion.
Despite reaping record profits, these companies have not taken the steps that scientists say are needed to prevent the worst climate impacts. Instead, they continue their greenwashing campaign by publicly supporting the Paris Agreement and claiming to be working towards a net-zero future, while issuing incomplete and misleading climate pledges and making inadequate investments in unproven energy sources and technologies.
At the same time, the climate crisis is growing more severe, with record heat waves, droughts, flooding, and other extreme weather harming Americans and people around the world.
The hearing is part of the Committee’s investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s long-running campaign to spread disinformation about climate change and greenwash its role in causing global warming.
At the Committee’s earlier hearing in October 2021, fossil fuel executives finally admitted under oath that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, which is an existential threat to our planet—but they refused to stop spending money to block climate action.
Earlier this year, the Committee invited five board members from Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP to testify at a hearing about the companies’ climate pledges. They failed to appear. The Committee once again invited the board members to testify, but they once again declined to appear on the date requested.
Hoopa Valley Tribe, California
Baruch Houses, New York
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Raya Salter, Esq.
Founder and Executive Director, Energy Justice Law and Policy Center
Member, New York State Climate Action Council
J. Mijin Cha, Ph.D., J.D.
Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College
Fellow, Cornell University Worker Institute
Michael Shellenberger (Minority Witness)
Founder and President
Additional witnesses to be announced