A U.S. congressional committee has issued subpoenas for documents about what oil company scientists think about climate change and any money used to mislead the public about global warming.
In February, key board members of four oil companies were subpoenaed to testify about the industry’s role in climate change and the spread of “disinformation,” a change in attitudes toward Big Oil after lawmakers grilled their chief executives last year. more intense.
A U.S. congressional hearing scheduled for Feb. 8 features officials from Exxon, Shell, Chevron and BP as part of the House Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigation into fossil fuel companies’ efforts to block climate change action and misrepresent industry efforts. the next stage of action. fix it.
The panel concluded its first hearing last October, in which the oil major’s chief executive issued a subpoena for documents about the company’s scientists’ views on climate change and any money used to mislead the public. global warming.
By shifting focus to board members selected to drive change in these companies on climate change, the committee plans to review companies’ commitments to reducing emissions and investing in cleaner energy.
“These are board members who change these institutions from within,” said Ro Khanna, chair of the oversight group’s environmental subcommittee. “They’re going to have to choose between their life beliefs or their loyalty to the CEO.”
Board members selected to testify include Alexander Karsner, a strategist at Google parent Alphabet Inc, who won one of three seats on Exxon’s board of activist hedge fund Engine No 1 to address investors Growing concerns about global climate change.
The committee also sent a letter to Susan Avery, an atmospheric scientist and former director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who was named climate expert on ExxonMobil’s board in 2017.
According to the letter, board members were combat climate change “Increase transparency and hold management accountable for meaningful emissions reductions by overseeing and directing the company’s climate strategy.”
All four companies invited to the hearing announced net-zero emissions targets by 2050, claiming their plans 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The panel will focus on the fact that a company’s net-zero plan is primarily concerned with its internal operations, rather than the fact that consumers release emissions when they burn the fossil fuels they produce.
Exxon Mobil, for example, earlier this week announced a net-zero emissions program focused on its operations, rather than so-called “scope 3” emissions from consumers who buy its products.
Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Kathy Norton did not comment on the new hearing, but said the company “provided employees with more than 200,000 pages of documents, including board materials and internal communications.”
Board members had no immediate comment.