Congress has oil executives cornered. But will they lie under oath?

Asia's Tech News Daily

Congress has oil executives cornered. But will they lie under oath?
© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Today is a day of history-making climate drama in Washington. At the Capitol Hill end of Pennsylvania Avenue, an unprecedented event: the CEOs of four of the world’s biggest private oil companies are summoned to testify under oath to Congress about their companies’ decades of lying about the lethal dangers their products pose.

There’s no mystery about who the villains are in this drama, only about how big oil will play this pivotal moment in the climate emergency: will these executives finally admit their companies’ lies and take responsibility for the havoc they’ve caused? Or will they keep lying, if only by proclaiming that they are now climate champions working to solve the crisis engulfing humanity?

Oil company executives have dodged previous requests to testify before Congress on these issues, and one can easily understand why. The case against them, drawn from their own files, is detailed, plentiful and damning.

As voluminous investigative reporting dating back to 2015 has documented, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron have known since the 1980s at the latest that burning oil, gas and coal would overheat the planet and imperil civilization; their own scientists told them so. They did it anyway.

Will these executives finally admit their companies’ lies and take responsibility for the havoc they’ve caused?

The companies not only hid their knowledge about what was coming, they spent millions of dollars telling the public that global warming wasn’t real. Indeed, 31% of Americans still don’t accept that climate change is happening, according to a new poll commissioned by the Guardian, Vice News and Covering Climate Now. This helps explain why the Republican party can stand in lockstep opposition to Joe Biden’s climate agenda and pay no apparent political price.

Congress has oil executives cornered. But will they lie under oath?
© Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images ‘There’s no mystery about who the villains are in this drama, only about how big oil will play this pivotal moment.’

Big oil’s history of deception and obstruction has yielded hundreds of billions of dollars in profits, salaries and stock options for the executives scheduled to testify today. But it has also put humanity on track to a “catastrophic” future of scorching heat, ruinous drought and storms, and relentless sea level rise – just as big oil’s scientists projected decades ago.

Today, the witness docket at the House Committee on Oversight and Reform includes the Big Oil 4: Darren Woods of ExxonMobil, Michael Wirth of Chevron, David Lawler of BP, and Gretchen Watkins of Shell Oil. Scheduled to join them are the CEOs of two oil industry trade associations: Mike Sommers of the American Petroleum Institute and Suzanne Clark of the US Chamber of Commerce.

These executives will have the chance to earn their multimillion-dollar paychecks at today’s hearing. Facing questions from such ace interrogators as Representatives Katie Porter of California and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, they will somehow have to explain why their companies kept their knowledge of fossil fuels’s deadly effects secret for so long.

The CEOs would seem to have two options. They can fess up to their companies’ sordid history and pledge to make amends. Or they can deflect, stonewall, and continue lying, with the extra twist that now they’d be lying about the decades of lies they’ve already told.

Lying is what these companies know

But lying under oath is perilous, especially when those lies are refuted by your own documents. The stakes double when your companies face dozens of lawsuits citing those lies and seeking billions of dollars in damages. The attorneys general offices in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and other jurisdictions presumably will be watching today’s hearing closely, keen to seize upon any false statements they can introduce as evidence in their own cases.

Still, lying is what these companies know. ExxonMobil, for example, has insisted it never deceived anyone, citing studies its experts published in scientific journals – a defense that conveniently ignores the company’s abundant public messaging that cast doubt on climate science. Similar lying persists today with oil companies’ gauzy ads celebrating all the wonderful technologies they’re developing to be part of the solution to climate change, a theme the CEOs surely will stress in their opening statements.

Meanwhile, some of the victims of big oil’s lies are offering their own eloquent testimony at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Outside the White House, five young climate activists, ages 18 to 26, have entered the ninth day of a hunger strike in a desperate plea that their government avert the hellish future awaiting them.

These young people are afraid, and angry, and they have every right to be. The companies that put them in this position owe them, and all of us, a profound apology, as well as restitution for the horrific damage they have done.

This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of news outlets strengthening coverage of the climate story. Mark Hertsgaard is Covering Climate Now’s executive director

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Red Bull's 2020 Abu Dhabi F1 dominance means little, says Mercedes

© Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, 1st position, takes the chequered flag Hamilton and Verstappen are heading in to the final race of the ... Read more »

'West Side Story' has scenes in Spanish without subtitles. Steven Spielberg says it was done purposefully, 'out of respect'

© Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort star in “West Side Story.” Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios “West Side Story,” out Friday contains some scenes spoken in Spanish ... Read more »

‘Beliau lebih layak', Annuar beritahu anak Shahrizat dilantik berdasarkan merit

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Annuar Musa berkata pelantikan Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah Mohamad Salleh adalah peranan bukan eksekutif dan dia tidak terlibat dalam operasi harian. KUALA LUMPUR: Pelantikan ... Read more »

Norwegian opposition not satisfied with proposed electricity measures: “It's a mockery”

Progress Party (FRP) leader Sylvi Listhaug is not happy with the government’s Wednesday’s proposal aimed at solving the electricity price crisis. According to the FRP leader, the state will earn ... Read more »

Kim Jong-un says military education system must redouble efforts to turn out officers who ‘remain absolutely loyal' to ruling party

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un presiding over a meeting of the North Korean Army’s educationists at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea (EPA) North Korean ... Read more »

‘Appalling' video shows Downing Street's ‘contempt' for the public, says Swinney

Leaked footage of key members of Boris Johnson’s staff joking about a Christmas party alleged to have been held at the time of strict lockdown restrictions shows the “contempt” Downing ... Read more »

Hong Kong's planned legal aid changes could breach constitution - Bar Association

© Reuters/TYRONE SIU FILE PHOTO: A Hong Kong flag is flown behind a pair of surveillance cameras outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong HONG KONG (Reuters) – A ... Read more »

Healthcare, defensive stocks drive UK's FTSE 100 higher

© Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain By Bansari Mayur Kamdar (Reuters) -UK’s FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday as gains in ... Read more »

UK wine producers promote bubbly as EU suppliers struggle to ship goods

© Getty Mark Driver Mark Driver, of Sussex Wineries, which includes Ridgeview (from £30 a bottle), Bolney (£28) and Wiston Estates (£29.50), is among UK the producers promising to stop ... Read more »

Explained: Why is there a fishing row between France and the UK?

© AP BritishBoatDetainedLeHavre281021 The seizure of a British trawler by France on Wednesday has reignited a row over post-Brexit fishing rights. Ministers were swift to condemn the actions of French ... Read more »

Motorcycle bomb kills four in Iraq in attack linked to Isis

Security forces inspect a motorcycle at the site of an explosion in Basra, Iraq (AP) A bomb has killed four people in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in a ... Read more »

Novak Djokovic among Australian Open entries putting Melbourne Slam in vaccine stand-off

Novak Djokovic has appeared on the official entry list for the 2022 Australian Open. The world No 1 has put himself down to play the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne ... Read more »

No 10 faces Tory and public backlash over Christmas party video

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, pulled out of Wednesday morning’s broadcast interviews after a video emerged showing No 10 aides laughing about a Christmas party during Covid restrictions, as the ... Read more »

Defensive sectors lift European shares after two-day rally

European stocks inched higher on Wednesday after marking their strongest two-day gain in more than a year, with defensive stocks rising as investors weighed the effectiveness of existing vaccines against ... Read more »

Antilia bomb scare case: HC quashes NIA court's order staying bail granted to bookie Naresh Gaur

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed and set aside a special court’s order staying the bail granted to cricket bookie Naresh Gaur in the Antilia bomb scare case. A ... Read more »

UK could reach 90,000 infections a day by Christmas, experts warn

Covid cases are up 15 per cent week on week (AFP/Getty) Covid cases could hit 90,000 a day by Christmas, experts have warned, as hospital admissions begin to increase even ... Read more »

Radhe Shyam Song Soch Liya: Soulful track shows Prabhas & Pooja Hegde's heartbreak to picturesque visuals

© Provided by Pinkvilla After the teaser, the makers of Radhe Shyam have finally released the full song titled, Soch Liya. With some breathtaking visuals to Pooja Hegde and Prabhas’ ... Read more »

CDS Gen Rawat's chopper crash: Tamil Nadu CM Stalin asks local admin to provide best possible medical help

CDS Gen Rawat’s chopper crash: Tamil Nadu CM Stalin asks local admin to provide best possible medical help. (Pic credit: PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has instructed the ... Read more »

Made In Heaven 2 to Finding Anamika, most-awaited 2022 Hindi web series

Made In Heaven 2 and Finding Anamika will release in 2022. This year gifted us many brilliant shows of different genres. From Family Man Season 2 and Mumbai Diaries 26/11 ... Read more »

British Vogue editor Edward Enninful announces upcoming memoir, A Visible Man

© Getty Images for Woolmark Edward Enninful attends the International Woolmark Prize 2020 – Getty Images for Woolmark Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, has announced that he is ... Read more »

Ankita Lokhande hospitalised days before wedding

© Provided by Mid-Day Ankita Lokhande who is all set to tie the knot with Vicky Jain next week has been hospitalised after spraining her leg according to a report ... Read more »

South Korea's daily virus figure exceeds 7,000 for first time

New coronavirus infections in South Korea have exceeded 7,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic as long queues snaked around testing stations in the capital Seoul ... Read more »

Our Favourite Memories Of Our Beloved, Sidharth Shukla

We all know Sidharth Shukla has been the most searched person in the year 2021 as per reports from Yahoo, but why is it? Why has he been the most ... Read more »

‘They're laughing at you': Labour steps up pressure on Boris Johnson over No 10 Christmas party – UK politics live

LIVE – Updated at 10:02 Labour launches social media attacks against prime minister over ‘partygate’, ahead of PMQs this afternoon. Omicron likely to overtake Delta as dominant variant in UK ... Read more »

LGBT+ Ghanaians should be hunted down and forced into conversion therapy, bigot tells MPs

LGBT+ Ghanaians should be forced to undergo conversion therapy or else be jailed, a top government lobbyist has told the country’s parliament. Moses Foh-Amoaning, a lawyer and general secretary of ... Read more »

Final decision on farmers' protest after SKM's core-committee meeting today on govt's new proposal on pending demands

© Provided by Jagran English New Delhi | Jagran News Desk:  Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s 5-member committee on Wednesday held a meeting where they discussed the revised draft proposal received from ... Read more »

Abhishek Bachchan recalls the tough times when Amitabh Bachchan didn't have enough money to buy food for family

© Provided by Amitabh Bachchan has been in the industry for more than 50 years. He is called the ‘megastar’, and time and again he has proved his stardom. ... Read more »

Repeal AFSPA now or it may be misused with impunity again, warns Nagaland Rajya Sabha MP

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha MP from Nagaland K G Kenye on Wednesday appealed to the government to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) ... Read more »

Did Sukhbir Singh Badal replace SGPC President due to political necessity?

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: What if it is not the political desperation of Akali’s that it has to shift the first women head of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak ... Read more »

Longines Master Collection Brings Together Classical Elegance And Excellent Timekeeping Quality

© Provided by Augustman The look and feel of a high complication chronograph without the price tag of one, that’s what the Longines Master Collection Moon Phase Chronograph reference L2.673.4.78.3 ... Read more »

Google's First In-House Developed Smartwatch May Hit The Market In 2022

© Provided by Augustman Tech giant Google looks ready to throw-down with the smartwatch giants next year. A Google smartwatch made in-house by the company might enter the market in ... Read more »

Delhi riots: Court frames charges against man who pointed gun at policeman

© Provided by Hindustan Times A photo taken on February 26, 2020 shows firefighters standing near a fire rescue vehicle as they douse burnt-out tyre market following deadly clashes in ... Read more »

Flashback | Sharmila Tagore opens up on success after marriage: 'I was never a victim of stardom'

© Provided by Firstpost Flashback | Sharmila Tagore opens up on success after marriage: ‘I was never a victim of stardom’ A favourite of mine, Sharmilqa Tagore ruled millions of ... Read more »

Dharmendra and Asha Parekh have a gala time as they grace India's Best Dancer 2; Video

India’s Best Dancers season 2 is gaining a lot of attention from viewers for its dance performances. Contestants are winning audiences’ hearts. The makers welcome celebrities on the show to ... Read more »

MHT CET 2021: Deadline to submit original caste verification certificates extended till 21 Dec; check details here

© Provided by Firstpost MHT CET 2021: Deadline to submit original caste verification certificates extended till 21 Dec; check details here The Maharashtra government has decided to extend the deadline ... Read more »

MPPEB jail prahari Recruitment Test 2020 final result declared at

Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) has released the final results of Prahari (Karyapalik) recruitment test 2020 in jail department. Candidates, who appeared for the test, can check their result ... Read more »

FTSE 100 index rallies for third day as Omicron fears fade – business live

LIVE – Updated at 09:42 © Photograph: Alberto Sibaja/Pacific Press/REX/Shutterstock Long queues form at this vaccination centre in Madrid on 7 December, a day after Spain recorded its first confirmed ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Tejasswi Prakash's brother reacts on her accusing Pratik Sehajpal of touching girls inappropriately

© Provided by Pinkvilla A lot is happening inside the Bigg Boss 15 house, most recently being Tejasswi Prakash accusing Pratik Sehajpal of touching girls inappropriately during tasks. In an ... Read more »

Devin Nunes Accepts the Poisoned Chalice

© Matt McClain – Getty Images Whether or not he has ulterior motives for serving as CEO for Trump’s definitely above-board media company, it’s unlikely to end well for the ... Read more »

Doctor cries as she says No 10 party happened same day dad fatally contracted Covid

A doctor broke down in tears on Good Morning Britain as she revealed that her father fatally contracted Covid the same day that it is believed the Downing Street Christmas ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic