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While ExxonMobil’s decades of sowing public doubt about climate science and the impact of fossil fuels have provoked various lawsuits, secretly recorded videos released Wednesday expose how the company continues to fight against U.S. efforts to tackle the climate emergency.
Published by Unearthed, Greenpeace U.K.’s investigative journalism arm, and the British Channel 4 News, the footage of ExxonMobil lobbyists sparked new calls for congressional action to hold the oil and gas giant accountable.
The videos, obtained by Unearthed reporters posing as recruitment consultants, feature Keith McCoy, a senior director in ExxonMobil’s Washington, D.C. government affairs team, and Dan Easley, who was a senior director for federal relations until leaving the company for a clean technologies firm earlier this year.
“In the midst of a deadly heatwave, the Exxon Tapes show how Exxon’s climate lies have spanned from outright denial to puppeteering our government and economy,” said Lindsay Meiman, 350.org’s U.S. communications manager. “Exxon knew and lied about the climate crisis for decades, and our communities are bearing the costs.”
“As the window for action quickly closes, this footage proves what we’ve known all along — Exxon continues to deliberately block necessary climate action to skirt accountability,” Meiman added. “We demand Congress immediately investigate Exxon and fossil fuel companies’ climate crimes, and make polluters pay for their destruction.”
This tape only solidifies what we already knew: fossil fuel companies have lied to the public, regulators, & Congress about their products’ dangers for years.
I plan to ask the CEOs of Exxon, Chevron, & other fossil fuel companies to testify before my Environment Subcommittee. https://t.co/b2gKCAV50t
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) June 30, 2021
McCoy said on the Zoom call, secretly recorded in May, that ExxonMobil cast doubt on the scientific consensus about the climate crisis and targeted centrist lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — “I talk to his office every week,” the lobbyist claimed — to scale back President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package.