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Democrats Release a Bombshell Report on How Oil Companies Misled Americans About Climate Change

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Democrats Release a Bombshell Report on How Oil Companies Misled Americans About Climate Change

Democrats Release a Bombshell Report on How Oil Companies Misled Americans About Climate Change

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Senate Democrats in the United States have released a 65-page report, the result of a long investigation into the history of Oil companies and climate change. The investigation has revealed that major oil companies knew ahead of the public that their emission would greatly affect the earth’s environment, but rather than make this known, they worked to keep it hidden. They even downplayed the urgency of addressing the issue.

The Senate Report

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The report is titled “Denial, Disinformation, And DoubleSpeak: Big Oil’s Evolving Efforts to Avoid Accountability for Climate Change,” and it details a deceptive campaign that has gone on for decades by oil companies. They chose to deceive Americans even though they learned about the effects of fossil fuels on climate change as far back as the 1960s. The investigation took almost three years by Democrat staff members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

What They Found

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According to internal documents found at fossil fuel companies, they have always known how fossil fuels cause climate change, but rather than work to mitigate the effects, they chose to misinform the public about this issue. Previous reporting in 2015 made similar findings. However, they were dismissed and tagged as “hyperbolic” and “journalistic malpractice” by big companies at the time. 

A Great Deception

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According to the report, Big Oil companies went on a deception campaign, seeking to spread disinformation about climate science findings while simultaneously employing duplicitous techniques to promote natural gas as a “climate-friendly fuel.” On the public front, these companies would pledge to support climate agreements and pursue net zero emissions goals, but behind closed doors, they worked to undermine them.

More About The Deceptive Campaign

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These companies continually increased their efforts to privately influence and use their vast resources to shut down pro-climate legislation and regulations, even though they seemed to support them in public.
They would promote carbon capture technologies, but in truth, they believed they were too expensive and impossible without government investment.

They Needed People Asleep

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The release of this 65-page report has triggered anger in many. People can’t believe that these big oil and gas companies were privy to critical information long before the public, but they chose to keep it hidden to promote their businesses. Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin likened them to Rip Van Winkle, wanting everyone to go to sleep, unconscious of the damage being done to the earth. 

They Got to Write the Story

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Having access to the information that Big Oil and Gas companies did on the effects of fossil fuels on climate change gave them a chance to spin the story the way they wanted as it gradually seeped into the public consciousness.

How the Republicans Reacted to the Report

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Rather than get incensed about the deception, Republicans in the Senate have taken a defensive stance, claiming that the report is biased and partisan. As far as they are concerned, the report is merely an attempt to distract people from the failed, expensive attempts to push people to give up their dependence on oil and gas energy.

What the American Petroleum Institute Had to Say

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The American Petroleum Institute (API) is an influential group in the oil and gas industry. The report repeatedly mentioned the API’s role in decades of great deception. In response, API claimed the report was being “election-year rhetoric” and that America needs oil and gas power now more than ever.

Focus on Cheap Energy

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In the statement they shared with NBC, API also discussed Americans’ desire for oil and natural gas. According to them, energy workers in the country are hellbent on meeting the demand for reliable, affordable oil and natural gas by Americans while scaling a new generation of low-carbon technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. API claims any other report to the contrary is simply grasping at straws.

What the Citizens Think

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In recent years, polls have proven that many Americans crave the expansion of natural gas and even believe that it should be part of the country’s energy landscape later on. According to a Pew Research Poll from last year, 68% of Americans prefer a mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, while only a meager 31% think fossil fuels need to be dismissed entirely.

The Legal Fallout

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The report has everybody reacting differently. Some have chosen not to believe it, but others, like Senator Bernie Sanders, are furious and demanding legal consequences. Sanders has posed an important question: if the industry knew how climate change could affect the earth, destroying billions of people, on what legal grounds can they be accountable?