Incoming GOP House Majority Could End Big Oil Investigation, Advocates Warn

The incoming chair of the Home Oversight Committee, Republican Rep. James Comer, has brazenly bashed the investigation.

A Home committee that has spent greater than a yr investigating the fossil gasoline {industry}’s local weather disinformation efforts has reportedly determined to not hand the subpoenaed paperwork it compiled over to the Senate, a reversal that might seemingly spell the top of the probe as industry-friendly Republicans take over the chamber.

Investigative journalist Amy Westervelt reported for The Intercept over the weekend that Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who helped lead the Huge Oil probe, beforehand vowed to “launch all of the subpoenaed paperwork to the Senate to proceed the investigation or at the least end reviewing them for pertinent info — a job the committee has not had the time or workers assets to finish.”

“However the determination to launch the paperwork has since been reversed, based on Khanna’s press secretary,” Westervelt wrote. “The committee additionally determined to not ship letters to the Division of Justice or the White Home requesting that the investigation proceed, Khanna staffers stated.”

The choice by the Home panel, which is headed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), drew an outraged response from local weather campaigners and watchdogs. Over the course of its investigation, the committee released greater than 1,000 pages of documents, together with inner emails and firm memos additional exhibiting that the oil and fuel {industry} is misleading the public about its position within the local weather disaster and its supposed efforts to chop down on planet-warming emissions.

“The investigations into Huge Oil will proceed it doesn’t matter what, but it surely needs to be a no brainer for Rep. Maloney and Oversight Democrats to ahead the Huge Oil Information to the Senate and DOJ — or launch all of them now! The general public deserves to know the reality,” tweeted Jamie Henn, the director of Fossil Free Media.

The committee has till January 2 to show over the paperwork to the Senate, which will likely be narrowly managed by Democrats within the new session. On January 3, Republicans hostile to local weather motion and allied with oil and fuel pursuits will take over the Home.

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the incoming chair of the Home Oversight Committee and a recipient of fossil gasoline {industry} donations, has openly bashed the panel’s Huge Oil investigation, calling its latest report on the {industry}’s local weather lies “a partisan present designed to demonize America’s power producers and pressure radical Inexperienced New Deal insurance policies on Individuals.”

Comer pledged to “return the Oversight Committee to its main mission of conducting oversight over the Biden administration.”

Richard Wiles, president of the Middle for Local weather Integrity, stated in a press release Tuesday that “refusing to share the committee’s findings with the Senate and others who can proceed to research Huge Oil’s local weather deception could be an epic failure by Home Democrats.”

“Over the past 15 months, the Oversight Committee has unearthed essential new proof that Huge Oil firms proceed to gasoline the local weather disaster and lie about it. However members have additionally made clear that they possess doubtlessly 1000’s extra paperwork that they haven’t had time to investigate,” stated Wiles. “Clearly the incoming Republican Home majority that may management the paperwork as of January 3 has no real interest in persevering with to research Huge Oil.”

“Committee members can not permit their groundbreaking work to reveal Huge Oil’s position in fueling the local weather disaster to finish by giving management of 1000’s of unexamined paperwork to Huge Oil’s defenders,” Wiles added. “As a substitute of fumbling the ball on the purpose line, Democrats on the committee want to make use of their closing days within the majority to go alongside their paperwork and findings to colleagues within the Senate, officers on the Justice Division, and some other company that has the facility to carry Huge Oil accountable.”