Takeaways from the Democrats’ Big Oil documents

By Emma Dumain, Corbin Hiar | 05/01/2024 07:06 AM EDT

House and Senate Democrats will air their claims against the industry during a hearing Wednesday morning.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

House Oversight and Accountability ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) will testify Wednesday about the Democrats' probe of the oil industry and climate change. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday morning will hear from academics and legal experts about allegations that the country’s biggest oil companies and their trade associations have sought over decades to downplay the effects of burning fossil fuels on the warming planet.

But the star witness will be House Oversight and Accountability ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who plans to spotlight thousands of pages of new documents that purport to corroborate long-standing accusations from Democrats and environmental activists that oil and gas companies are actively ignoring the effects of their business operations on the climate crisis.

Those documents, and a 65-page report, were published Tuesday and represent the next phase of House Oversight Democrats’ investigation into Big Oil’s alleged climate misinformation campaign, which the public thought had gone dark when Republicans won back control of the chamber in 2022.


Senate Republicans, who have criticized Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for turning the Budget Committee into a de facto climate committee, are expected to discount the findings as more of the same, with a spokesperson for Senate Budget ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) telling E&E News congressional Democrats ought to stop litigating old allegations outside the panel’s purview.