Democratic Congressman’s Campaign Touts ‘Big Oil’ Hearing

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Rep. Ro Khanna’s campaign email about the Big Oil House hearing did not request donations.

California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna’s campaign sent an email this week asking recipients to show their support for an upcoming House hearing on “Big Oil.”

The email, with the subject line “Big Oil doesn’t want us to know,” criticized fossil fuel companies for profiting while climate change continues. The message also accused the industry of waging multi-million dollar “climate denialist ad campaigns.”

“Oil giants like ExxonMobil don’t want us to know about the front groups and think tanks they use to spread disinformation about climate science. They don’t want us to know about their multi-million dollar climate denialist ad campaigns,” the email read. “And they definitely don’t want us to know about the teams of lobbyists working behind the scenes in D.C. to build opposition to clean energy legislation.”

“But for the first time in Congressional history, they’re going to answer for it all,” it continued. (RELATED: Biden Ditches Alaska Oil Drilling Project That Would’ve Created Thousands Of Jobs)

The email asked recipients to “support Ro as he investigates the fossil fuel industry’s climate denialism and corruption.” The message links to Khanna’s reelection campaign website and a form to subscribe to future campaign emails.

Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at an “End Fossil Fuel” rally near the U.S. Capitol on June 29. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at an “End Fossil Fuel” rally near the U.S. Capitol on June 29. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Khanna, the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment, previously wrote to executives and industry groups demanding that they appear before Congress to testify about the “climate crisis.” The California congressman, along with Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, also requested further information and documents in the letters.

“We are deeply concerned that the fossil fuel industry has reaped massive profits for decades while contributing to climate change that is devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and ravaging the natural world,” Khanna and Maloney wrote to the executives on Sept. 16.

“As worsening natural disasters linked to global warming devastate communities in the United States and globally, one of Congress’s top legislative priorities is combating the increasingly urgent crisis of a changing climate,” the Democratic leaders continued. “To do this, Congress must address pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry and curb troubling business practices that lead to disinformation on these issues.”

Executives from ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron and Shell are slated to testify at the hearing which is scheduled for Oct. 28. The American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, two of the largest trade groups in the country, will also send representatives.

The Washington Post first reported on Oct. 13 that the hearing would take place.

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