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Big Oil Testifies Before Congress: Highlights, Biggest Moments

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Chief executives of the world's largest fossil fuel companies testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee's Subcommittee on the Environment today examining disinformation about the dangers of climate change. The hearing, billed as 'Exposing Big Oil’s Disinformation Campaign to Prevent Climate Action,' concentrated on taking big oil execs to task for the oil industry’s role in stopping climate action over multiple decades.

The hearings come ahead of the UN's COP26 climate summit, which President Biden is set to attend, and coincide with efforts by  Biden to pass his flagship spending bill, which includes funding to address climate change.

The CEOs of Exxon Mobil  (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report, Chevron  (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report and BP America, the president of Shell, and the heads of lobby firms the American Petroleum Institute and the US Chamber of Commerce gave testimony.

Democratic Representative Ro Khanna urged U.S. companies ExxonMobil and Chevron to pledge to cut production as their European counterparts have done to address the climate crisis. 

“Are you embarrassed as an American company that your production is going up while European counterparts are going down?” Khanna asked Chevron CEO Michael Wirth.

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ExxonMobil’s chief executive CEO Darren Woods was grilled about leaked documents alleging the company's hiding of scientific evidence of the threat of climate change. Woods said ExxonMobil “has long acknowledged the reality and risks of climate change, and it has devoted significant resources to addressing those risks.″ 

Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney said, “I hope that after 40 years of misleading the public to block climate action, our nation’s oil and gas industry will finally change its behavior and join the many good corporate citizens, community leaders and scientists who are working together to save our planet and our children,″.

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