US panel accuses ‘Big Oil’ of disinformation over climate plans | Climate crisis news

US panel accuses ‘Big Oil’ of disinformation over climate plans | Climate crisis news

A committee of the United States Congress has accused the oil companies of spreading “misinformation” and “lies”. efforts to mitigate climate change obscuring their long-term investments in fossil fuels.

The House Oversight Committee on Friday released internal industry documents from major oil companies that it said showed the companies were failing to meet public commitments to reduce emissions and were engaging in “greenwashing.”

“Today’s new evidence makes it clear that these companies know their climate commitments are inadequate, but they are prioritizing them A record for Big Oil gains over the human costs of climate change,” panel chair Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.

“It’s time for the fossil fuel industry to stop lying to the American people and finally take serious steps to reduce emissions and address the global climate crisis they helped create.”

The panel said that the “keystone” of the oil companies’ climate plans has been to sell, or divest, oil and gas fields to smaller companies to reduce their emissions, which then pass those emissions on to the next company and “. will not actually reduce emissions”.

“Despite publicly announcing its support for the goals of the Paris Agreement, BP continues to invest in a future dependent on fossil fuels,” the commission added.

He cited an internal review document in which the company described a plan to “significantly increase development in regions with potential oil” in the US and “focus primarily on projects in current basins that generate the highest rate of return.”

The documents were obtained by congressional subpoenas as part of the committee’s broader investigation into “the role of the fossil fuel industry in spreading climate misinformation and preventing action on climate change.”

In an internal email, “a BP executive confirmed … that BP had no ‘obligation to reduce GHGs.’ [greenhouse gas] emissions” and that the company would only “minimize”. [GHG emissions] where it makes commercial sense,’” the panel said on Friday.

“The same BP executive concluded that ‘the benefits of any proposal to take the lower GHG option must be balanced against the cost of doing so’.”

BP did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith, in an internal message released by the panel, said of the divestment of Canadian oil sands assets: “The truth is, we transfer CO2 responsibility when we divest.”

On Friday, Reuters quoted Smith as saying that the House panel’s investigation found no evidence of a climate disinformation campaign.

“In fact, the few subpoena documents the Commission wants to highlight from Shell are evidence of the company’s strong efforts to set aggressive goals, transform its portfolio and meaningfully participate in the ongoing energy transition,” Smith said.

The remarks by the Democrat-led House panel come as scientists and the United Nations continue to warn of catastrophic consequences if the climate crisis is not addressed.

In November, the UN said they were on track for the last eight years the hottest ever recorded. And experts have blamed the climate crisis for an increase in national disasters, including hurricanes, heat waves and wildfires.

“Big Oil has misled the American public for decades about the reality of the climate crisis,” Ro Khanna, chairman of the environment subcommittee, said in a statement Friday. “It is time to hold the entire industry accountable for its role in funding and facilitating this disinformation.”

Democrats will become the minority in the House of Representatives early next month after Republicans, after pushing to increase domestic energy production, He narrowly won control in the mid-November election of the chamber.

While Democrats in Congress have called for oil companies to cut emissions, President Joe Biden last month asked the companies to “expanding the offer and lower prices at the pump”.

The White House also moved to fire him millions of barrels Oil from the country’s strategic reserves ahead of elections earlier this year, amid rising prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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