Secret Recording Exposes ExxonMobil Playbook To Weaken Climate Change Reform

Here are three things to know about the secret recording that’s rocked the oil giant’s relationships on Capitol Hill.

By Alexandra Hart, Laura Rice & Wells DunbarJuly 5, 2021 1:03 pm,

ExxonMobil is under scrutiny after a company lobbyist was secretly recorded by a reporter for the environmental group Greenpeace. In the tape, lobbyist Keith McCoy spoke about efforts by the company to weaken climate policies from the Biden administration.

The Irving, Texas-based oil giant has since apologized for McCoy’s comments but the fallout is ongoing. Kevin Crowley has been following the story for Bloomberg News, where he reports on the oil industry. “This exposé shines a light on the normally secret world of corporate influence in D.C.,” Crowley said.

Crowley points to three revelations from the tape: that the lobbyist’s comments show ExxonMobil was working against climate polices in the Biden Administration’s proposed infrastructure package; that the company “only supports a carbon tax … because it knows that it’ s never gonna happen;” and that the company has “worked with ‘shadow groups’” previously to muddle the science over climate change.

ExxonMobil initially pushed back against the comments, claiming harassment from Greenpeace and that the statements were taken out of context. But the company has since taken a more “contrite” tone, Crowley says.

ExxonMobil is under internal investor pressure to step up its efforts to fight climate change. But, Crowley says, its “action on the ground has been weaker about a lot of people have been asking for.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

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