Washington, D.C. — Damning new footage released this week in a report by the UK’s Channel 4 News shows a senior lobbyist for Exxon saying the quiet part out loud: the oil giant has allegedly been using the American Petroleum Institute (API) as “whipping boys” to take the blows for Exxon’s worst anti-climate behaviors — all while the company tries to greenwash its actions and publicly paint itself as an environmental advocate. 

API, the oil and gas industry’s largest and most influential trade association, has made attempts to present its member companies as supporters of climate action. However, its members engage in rampant pollution and resource exploitation each day that paints a very different picture. While they’re standing behind API and empty rhetoric, these companies’ harmful actions are degrading communities in and outside the U.S.  

“Exxon’s lobbyist said the quiet part out loud, but the oil company’s rampant hypocrisy on climate action has long been obvious,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Oil and gas companies like Exxon publicly claim they want to work with the Biden administration to take real steps on climate action. In reality, they’re hiding behind the American Petroleum Institute and its unreliable climate commitments — polluting and advocating against the very same policy changes they want their shareholders and customers to believe they support. These companies have a choice: fess up to their hypocrisy or cut off their connections — and revenue streams — to API.” 

Just days ago, API released new guidelines for oil and gas companies to report greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than the kinds of stringent reporting regulations needed to be environmentally impactful, API’s template for their member companies is weak, entirely voluntary, and allow companies to cite scientifically unproven carbon capture as a climate mitigation strategy.

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