Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes

Jul 26, 2021
In The News

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are asking an ExxonMobil lobbyist to testify in a recorded interview after he appeared on tape saying that the company “aggressively [fought] against some of the science” on climate change. 

In a Monday letter requesting the testimony, Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Environment Subcommittee Chair Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) asked lobbyist Keith McCoy for an interview “regarding efforts by ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies to mislead the global public and Members of Congress about the dangers of fossil fuels and their role in causing global climate change.”

“Your statements raise serious concerns about your role in ongoing efforts by ExxonMobil and the fossil fuel industry to spread climate disinformation, including through the use of ‘shadow groups,’ in order to block action needed to address climate change,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The lawmakers gave McCoy until Friday to say whether he would voluntarily participate in an interview that would take place next month. 

A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a question from The Hill about whether McCoy would participate in the interview. 

The request marks the latest step in an ongoing effort to have representatives from ExxonMobil and other major oil companies to testify before Congress. 

Khanna has weighed a subpoena for Exxon for weeks — prior to McCoy’s comments —  but the lobbyist's remarks have put a spotlight on the issue. 

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee have separately indicated to The Hill that they would consider a subpoena to compel testimony from major oil companies. 

McCoy, in an undercover investigation by the group Unearthed, was asked about allegations that ExxonMobil had known for decades that climate change was caused by greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes. Did we hide our science?  Absolutely not. Did we join some of these shadow groups to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true,” he said on the tapes released by the group, which is affiliated with Greenpeace UK.