Criticism in the US of the oil industry’s obfuscation over the climate crisis is intensifying after internal documents showed companies attempted to distance themselves from agreed climate goals, admitted “gaslighting” the public over purported efforts to go green, and even wished critical activists be infested by bedbugs.
The communications were unveiled as part of a congressional hearing held in Washington DC, where an investigation into the role of fossil fuels in driving the climate crisis produced documents obtained from the oil giants ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they wish bedbugs on you, then you win,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise. The organization accused Shell of a “legacy of violence and of ignoring the wellbeing of communities across the globe”.
The revelations are part of the third hearing held by the House committee on oversight and reform on how the fossil-fuel industry sought to hamper the effort to address the climate crisis. Democrats, who lead the committee, called top executives from the oil companies to testify last year, in which they denied they had misled the public.
The new documents are “the latest evidence that oil giants keep lying about their commitments to help solve the climate crisis and should never be trusted by policymakers”, said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity. [Continue reading…]