Congress fails to pin down oil firm execs on their bad-faith arguments

Image of an oil refinery.

Enlarge / In some unspecified time in the future, this should cease. A current congressional listening to left us no nearer to determining when that time shall be reached. (credit score: Getty Photos)

Thursday, the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform held hearings on the function of oil corporations in fostering our current local weather disaster. The businesses led by these executives have an extended historical past of enjoying down the dangers of local weather change, main quite a lot of Home Democrats to recommend that this listening to could possibly be the equal of the 1994 hearings with tobacco executives, during which the executives denied well-established scientific knowledge on the addictiveness of nicotine.

However that expectation was doomed to disappointment. Oil corporations, in any case, had already demonstrated that they’re glad to simply accept the science of local weather change when underneath oath; they simply are likely to spin the small print of their very own function in influencing public perceptions of that science. Congress was handled to a repeat efficiency of that kind that neatly averted the sort of catastrophic failure in public notion that the tobacco firm executives produced.

Nonetheless, the listening to did handle to focus on the hole between what many corporations are saying now and the truth of what society has decided it wants to perform. What follows is much less a recap of the testimony and extra of an evaluation of how the businesses’ spin introduced them to their present circumstances—and the place they’re going to go from right here.

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