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Oil executives testify they won’t stop lobbying against climate initiatives

October 29, 2021

The Guardian:

The chief executive of ExxonMobil, Darren Woods, was accused of lying to Congress on Thursday after he denied that the company covered up its own research about oil’s contribution to the climate crisis.

For the first time, Woods and the heads of three other major petroleum companies were questioned under oath at a congressional hearing into the industry’s long campaign to discredit and deny the evidence that burning fossil fuels drove global heating. When pressed to make specific pledges or to stop lobbying against climate initiatives, all four executives declined.

The chair of the House oversight committee, Representative Carolyn Maloney, pressed Woods about statements by his predecessor, Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, who in the 1990s said the scientific evidence for climate change was “inconclusive” and that “the case for global warming is far from air tight”. In 2002, Exxon ran advertisements in the New York Times calling climate science “unsettled”.

Malone put it to Woods that Exxon’s own scientists had repeatedly warned the company about the threat from burning fossil fuels as far back as the 1970s.

“There is a clear conflict between what Exxon CEO told the public and what Exxon scientists were warning privately for years,” she said.

Woods denied that Raymond or Exxon misled anyone.

“I do not agree that there was an inconsistency,” he said.

[Chris McGreal]

More: Exxon CEO accused of lying about climate science to congressional panel

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