In covert video, fossil fuels executive admits long commitmentto misleading the public and derailingclimate-change legislation.
Environmentalists around the world are feeling the tremors from the meteor that hit ExxonMobil yesterday. Many of us are cherishing the sensation.
It’s not every day that a fossil fuels executive admits to working to undermine climate science and influence members of Congress in ways that scuttle effective climate-crisis legislation.
Actually, it’s more like… NEVER.
Until yesterday, when Channel 4, a British public broadcasting service, aired a segment that featured an undercover Greenpeace Unearthed investigative journalist interviewing Keith McCoy, a key executive in Federal Relations at ExxonMobil. McCoy thought he was participating in an interview for a job with a consultancy.
The story’s narrator sets the stage: “Mr. McCoy will become one of the first-ever executives to claim that ExxonMobil has aggressively fought climate science using front organizations to maximize shareholder profits.” The video then shows McCoy admitting to the “job interviewer” that ExxonMobil has disregarded human welfare in favor of making more money.
“Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes. Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true.
“But,” McCoy goes on in justification, “there’s nothing illegal about that.”
As Channel 4 further reports, he also said “ExxonMobil ‘manufactures PFAS’, so-called ‘forever chemicals’, which independent research has linked to cancer, hormone disruption and weakened immunity.”
In addition, McCoy asserts that Exxon has U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia, in its hip pocket, along with 10 other senators. “Joe Manchin… I talk to his office every week,” McCoy brags. “He is the kingmaker, and he’s not shy about staking his claim early.”
You’ll recall Manchin is one of two Democrats, along with Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, who refuses to even consider getting rid of the filibuster so reasonable climate change and infrastructure legislation can pass through the U.S. Senate and, from a broader perspective, so the USA can stop being ruled by the minority.
All this while Exxon has engaged in greenwashing campaigns, like the recent one about its algae-to-biofuel efforts.
None of this is the least bit surprising. We’ve known for years that fossil fuel companies have been engaged in disinformation and greenwashing campaigns regarding climate change and their roles in bringing it about. We’ve known they’ve been lying with impunity, and now they need to accept responsibility.
But now we have it directly from the corporate horse’s mouth, so to speak. The question is, who will continue to carry the fossil fuel companies’ dirty water (Manchin?) and who will bail over the side, instead.