UnEarthed: Exxon’s Power Agenda Revealed

June 30, 2021

Below, What Exxon Knew, and when.

Raw Story:

Channel 4 in the U.K. published a startling expose on ExxonMobil’s lobbyists who revealed the top most important U.S. Senators who are the ones behind any legislation that might hurt the oil industry.

While many oil companies are diversifying with natural gas, it appears ExxonMobil is going all-in battling to keep “big oil” alive and well. 

“Keith McCoy is a senior ExxonMobil lobbyist on Capitol Hill and has represented the company in its liaison with the U.S. Congress for the last eight years,” explained the report.

“Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes. Did we hide our science? Absolutely not,” said McCoy on camera. “Did we join some of these shadow groups to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing, there’s nothing illegal about that. We were looking out for our investments. We were looking out for our shareholders.”

McCoy compared his work with elected officials to fishing with ExxonMobil who supplies the “bait” before it “reels in” the official on issues like a carbon tax, electric cars, taxation and infrastructure.

“When you have an opportunity to talk to a member of Congress, I liken it to fishing, right? You know you have bait, you throw that bait out. And they say: ‘Oh, you want to talk about infrastructure, yeah,'” McCoy continued. “And then you start to reel them in and you start to have these conversations about federal leasing programs, you start to have these conversations about a carbon tax. You know, it’s all these opportunities that you use and to use the fishing analogy again just to kind of reel them in.”

“I make sure I get them the right information that they need so they look good. And then they help me out. They’re a captive audience. They know they need you. And I need them,” McCoy also said.


10 Responses to “UnEarthed: Exxon’s Power Agenda Revealed”

  1. jimbills Says:

    A Washington Examiner story, still, it has some interesting info:

    Exxon oil lobbyist in sting video identifies 11 senators ‘crucial’ to its lobbying

    ‘Among the senators listed as allies, McCoy calls Joe Manchin the “kingmaker” on energy issues because of his status as a Democrat representing West Virginia, a key natural gas-producing state. McCoy says he speaks with Manchin’s staff every week. Manchin is also chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.’

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    Most bizarre thing here?
    That McCoy calls the infrastructure bill a highway bill.
    That’s like Deere considering every farm bill this year’s tractor-aid project.

    Second? Either saying “it’s not illegal” as if that’s what matters, or calling the energy system of the 21st century “wind”, when really it’s a sophisticated, hocketed system of solar PV, CSP, clothesline paradox energy, onshore and offshore wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal, wave, OTEC, current, biomass, biogas, muscle power, efficiency, wiser lives, demand response, and other sources. Trying to isolate and defeat singularly each renewable source is a common way of lying among internet trolls and generally malignorant people, but for a big-time lobbyist, it’s pretty pathetic.

    “many oil companies are diversifying with natural gas”????
    And many professional baseball players both catch and throw a ball.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      “many oil companies are diversifying with natural gas”????

      For much of the last century many oil extraction projects didn’t try to monetize natural gas because it was often easier to flare it than to make money off of it. That is, the oil products were much more profitable than gas.

  3. J4Zonian Says:

    Talking about Manchin and other right wing Democrats as “moderates” is offensive and ridiculous.

    David Roberts:
    “Perhaps the most politically difficult aspect of climate change is that, after decades of denial and delay, there is no longer any coherent “moderate” position to be had.

    To allow temperatures to rise past 1.5° or 2°C this century is to accept unthinkable disruption to agriculture, trade, immigration, public health, and basic social cohesion. To hold temperature rise to less than 1.5° or 2°C this century will require enormous, heroic decarbonization efforts on the part of every wealthy country.

    Either of those outcomes is, in its own way, radical. There is no non-radical future available for the US in decades to come. Our only choice is the proportions of the mix: action vs. impacts. The less action we and other countries take to address the threat, the more impacts we will all suffer.”


    • jimbills Says:

      Huh. Just realized David Roberts is no longer with Vox. I had noticed Vox had added other environmental reporters recently that aren’t quite as incisive as Roberts. Any idea of the backstory there?

      • J4Zonian Says:

        My understanding, from what Roberts says on the new blog, is that he’s wanted to go out on his own for a while. I agree he’s about the best writer on climate/energy/politics, and am glad to see him getting what he wants. He’s also involved with Canary, btw.

        I also forgot to add in that last one, that we actually have 3 choices, like the business triangle. We can choose, somewhat, between mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. Those are the only choices, and so far our fearful leaders have gone almost exclusively for suffering, by others. The opportunity to choose either of the others is disappearing fast. I think that comes from Roberts when he was at Grist.


    • jimbills Says:

      I found Roberts’ answer to it (under ‘Why am I doing this?’):

      Thanks for the link, btw. That’s the best analysis I’ve seen of the politics on the infrastructure deal I’ve seen so far.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        You’re welcome. I think it’s a sign of… well, something, that more and more writers are saying out loud what I’ve felt like I was yelling into the hurricane for years–that the Republicans are insane psychopaths and to negotiate with them or to treat them as adults in any way is irrational as well. Roberts, McKibben, some of the Guardian writers, a few commenters, are slowly, painfully crawling toward the realization that the only solution is a revolution, removing the right wing from power in whatever peaceful but relentless way works, and choosing survival over submission to our abusers.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        PS Roberts’ column reminded me once again that even those few Republicans who are not lying when they say they want climate action are not concerned with the reality of climate catastrophe, but only about their own political power. They want to come up with a strategy to seem like they have a credible strategy on the climate crisis (ignoring the larger ecological crisis, and continuing, as I’ve said, to take sadistic delight in ignoring (aka dominating) reality) so they don’t lose power in a world increasingly against them in terms of both demographics and facts. An entire political party in the formerly most powerful country completely lost to mental illness. It’s increasingly likely to be a pathetically sad end for civilization.

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Dan Easley had some good news about how Biden is going to make it difficult for ExxonMobile, including taking away favorable tax treatment, raising the corporate rate, new environmental regulations, Federal procurement of green energy (EV fleets!) and retrofitting federal buildings. “It’s going to accelerate the transition to the extent that I think four years from now it’s going to be difficult to unwind that.”


    BTW, here’s the YouTube version of the Unearthed video:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: