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Democrats say Big Oil misled public for decades about climate change

Major oil corporations have misled Americans for decades about the specter of human-caused climate change, in response to a brand new report launched Tuesday by Democrats in Congress.

The 65-page report was the results of a three-year investigation and was made public hours earlier than a Senate Budget Committee listening to about the position that oil and gasoline corporations have performed in world warming.

“They could’ve been the environmental Paul Revere but, instead, they were more like Rip Van Winkle, wanting everyone to go to sleep,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., mentioned about fossil gasoline corporations’ efforts to mislead and distract the American public for greater than 60 years. “The thing that gets me the most is thinking back to the decades when ‘Big Oil and Gas’ understood the problem in a way almost no one in the country or the world did.”

Democrats’ investigation revealed analysis, transcripts and even video recordings that present the fossil gasoline business knew the results of its emissions since a minimum of the Sixties. Their report additionally confirmed how oil and gasoline corporations initially tried to cover that info however employed new techniques to downplay the urgency of eliminating emissions.

Geoffrey Supran, an affiliate professor and director of the Climate Accountability Lab on the University of Miami, researches climate disinformation and propaganda from the fossil gasoline business. He mentioned that oil and gasoline corporations’ claims of decarbonizing are simply their newest technique to delay climate motion.

“Putting spin before science continues at oil companies to this day,” he mentioned of his analysis into the techniques of the business.

“This is greenwashing 101,” Supran added. “Talk green, act dirty.”

Senate Republicans referred to as the listening to purely partisan and tried to refocus the dialogue on the monetary value of quickly transitioning away from oil and gasoline.

“We spend all this money, and we don’t lower global temperatures one scintilla of a degree,” mentioned Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, one of many high oil and gasoline producing states within the U.S.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), a serious lobbying group for the business, was repeatedly blamed within the report and Senate listening to for serving to oil and gasoline corporations cover the reality about climate change. According to Senate Democrats, API each suggested fossil gasoline corporations on public relations methods, whereas additionally performing as a scapegoat for congressional scrutiny.

In a press release to NBC News, an API spokesperson mentioned, “At a time of persistent inflation and geopolitical instability, our nation needs more American energy — including more oil and natural gas — and less unfounded election year rhetoric. America’s energy workers are focused on delivering the reliable, affordable oil and natural gas Americans demand while scaling the next generation of low-carbon technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture, and any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate.”

Democrats reiterated that oil and gasoline corporations have broken the planet for decades with out having to pay for the results. That led Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to ask what occurs subsequent.

“If we have an industry that knowingly, and that’s the point … knowingly understood that climate change would bring devastating destruction to the lives of billions of people, what are the legal grounds we can hold them accountable for?” he mentioned.

This article was initially printed on NBCNews.com

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