Washington, D.C. (November 2, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a memo announcing she was issuing subpoenas to ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP America, Shell, American Petroleum Institute, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce for key documents they have failed to produce in the Committee’s investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s climate disinformation campaign. The Chairwoman announced her intent to issue these subpoenas at last week’s historic hearing, where top fossil fuel industry executives testified before the Committee.
“I tried very hard to obtain this information voluntarily. But the oil companies employed the same tactics they used for decades on climate policy—delay and obstruction. Well, that ends today,” said Chairwoman Maloney in her closing statement at the hearing.
“Please know that I don’t take this step lightly. When Republican Dan Burton was Chairman of this Committee, he issued more than 1,000 subpoenas—without a single complaint from my Republican colleagues. I have been much more selective. But we are at ‘code red’ for climate, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help rescue this planet for our children. We need to get to the bottom of the oil industry’s disinformation campaign. And with these subpoenas, we will.”
On September 16, 2021, the Committee wrote to ExxonMobil, Chevon, BP America, Shell, American Petroleum Institute, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeking documents related to the entities’ role in contributing to climate change, their marketing and lobbying efforts on climate change, and the funding of third parties to spread climate disinformation.
The six entities did not meet the deadline and made only limited document productions to the Committee, comprised largely of non-substantive, publicly available materials, such as press clippings, regulatory filings, and pages from the entities’ own websites. The entities failed to produce most of the internal documents and communications the Committee requested.
On October 21, 2021, the Committee sent additional letters to all six entities, warning that the failure to produce key documents was obstructing the Committee’s investigation and giving them an extension on their production until October 25, 2021, three days prior to the hearing. Following those letters, none of the entities produced a substantial portion of key documents the Committee requested.
Click here to read today’s memo.
Click here to read the subpoenas to ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP America, Shell, American Petroleum Institute, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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