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Press Release Published: Nov 1, 2021

Comer Urges Committee Democrats to Cease Political Theatrics, Reconsider Their Intent to Issue Subpoenas to Oil & Gas Executives

WASHINGTON –Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) called on Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to cease political theatrics and urged her to reconsider her decision to issue subpoenas to six oil and gas executives. Democrats’ intent to unnecessarily use the Committee’s subpoena power to garner cheap headlines only further weakens congressional oversight, infringes on rights protected by the First Amendment, and proves their investigation into these oil and gas entities is to appease their liberal base.    

“For months, we have questioned the ‘motivation and legitimacy of your inquiries’ into the oil and gas industry. After the tactics used by Democrats during last week’s hearing attacking American industry our concerns were validated. Your decision to subpoena each of the six entities appearing voluntarily at the hearing—who have cooperated with the Committee’s investigation for months by producing nearly 200,000 pages of documents—is partisan political theater at its worst. We object to Democrats using subpoenas that serve only one purpose: to create a spectacle to appease your most outspoken political supporters,” wrote Ranking Member Comer.  

“While you continuously accuse the oil and gas industry of conducting ‘misinformation campaigns,’ your manufactured crisis that no one is cooperating with the Committee’s investigation is in itself a misinformation campaign,” continued Ranking Member Comer. “Though Democrats may not like the contents of the productions because they do not confirm your unfounded allegations, the documents are responsive to your overly broad requests. The purpose of the Committee on Oversight and Reform is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. However, Democrats are weaponizing the Committee’s oversight tools to score political points by attacking American industry. Issuing these subpoenas will not expedite the production of documents to the Committee; in fact, it will likely slow down production. Given the extraordinary level of cooperation by the oil and gas industry, including appearing at a hearing for six hours and producing close to 200,000 documents, we urge you to reconsider your announced decision to issue subpoenas in this matter.”  

If Democrats intend to formally issue subpoenas, Ranking Member Comer requests Chairwoman Maloney allow all Committee Members an opportunity to publicly weigh in on this matter during the Committee’s markup on November 4, 2021 by holding a vote on the subpoenas, as was the practice undertaken by her predecessor, Chairman Elijah Cummings.  

 Read the full letter here.