Washington D.C: On Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 9:00 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 the fossil fuel industry’s long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming.
The fossil fuel industry has had scientific evidence about the dangers of climate change since at least 1977. Yet for decades, the industry spread denial and doubt about the harm of its products—undermining the science and preventing meaningful action on climate change even as the global climate crisis became increasingly dire, and its deadly impact on Americans increased.
More recently, some large fossil fuel companies took public stances in support of climate actions while privately continuing to block reforms, invest overwhelmingly in fossil fuel extraction, and support efforts to extend the life of fossil fuel investments. The industry reportedly spends billions to promote climate disinformation through branding and lobbying. Moreover, they increasingly outsource lobbying to trade groups, obscuring their own roles in disinformation efforts.
On September 16, 2021, the Chairs sent letters to top fossil fuel executives requesting documents and communications related to their organization’s role in supporting disinformation and misleading the public to prevent action on the climate crisis. To date, all the fossil fuel entities have failed to adequately comply with the Committee’s request.