A Greenpeace sting has had an Exxon lobbyist expose the names of 11 Senators he said were crucial for the supermajor’s lobbying efforts.
The names include both Republicans and Democrats, including Senator Joe Manchin, who represents gas-producing West Virginia and is chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, whom the lobbyist called “kingmaker” when it comes to lobbying efforts in Congress.
The list also includes Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming, a top Republican representative on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito, also from West Virginia.
Further, the Exxon lobbyist, Keith McCoy, discussed the issue of carbon tax that the company publicly supports but, according to his comments, is privately aware will not be particularly popular among businesses.
“I will tell you, there is not an appetite for a carbon tax. It is a non-starter. Nobody is going to propose a tax on all Americans,” he said, as quoted by Yahoo Finance. “And the cynical side of me says, 'Yeah, we kind of know that. But it gives us a talking point. We can say, 'Well, what is ExxonMobil for? Well, we’re for a carbon tax.'”
In response to the news, Exxon issued a statement that said, “Comments made by the individuals in no way represent the company’s position on a variety of issues, including climate policy and our firm commitment that carbon pricing is important to addressing climate change. The individuals interviewed were never involved in developing the company’s policy positions on the issues discussed.”
“We condemn the statements and are deeply apologetic for them, including comments regarding interactions with elected officials. They are entirely inconsistent with the way we expect our people to conduct themselves. We were shocked by these interviews and stand by our commitments to working on finding solutions to climate change,” the company also said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com