The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a full Committee hearing titled, “Exposing Big Oil’s Disinformation Campaign to Prevent Climate Action.” In his opening statement, Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) questioned the legitimacy of Democrats’ so-called “investigation” of America’s oil and gas companies and emphasized the Democrats’ objective for this hearing is to deliver partisan theatre.

In addition, he reminded Committee Democrats that the Oversight and Reform Committee exists to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal bureaucracy. He stated today’s hearing is another example of Democrats failing to conduct meaningful oversight over the Biden administration and the ongoing crises fueled by President Biden’s policies. Ranking Member Comer concluded by highlighting President Biden’s anti-American energy policies, which have caused skyrocketing gasoline prices and left thousands without jobs.   

The remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

“Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney. I thank the witnesses for their willingness to testify before the Committee today.

However, I have concerns about today’s hearing and the legitimacy of Democrats’ so-called “investigation” of America’s oil and gas companies.

First, let me remind Chairwoman Maloney and Committee Democrats that the Oversight and Reform Committee exists to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal bureaucracy.

When are we going to hold a hearing with a Biden Administration Cabinet member so we can hold the federal government accountable? 

It is critical that this Committee examine the pressing concerns of American citizens. Inflation caused by the Biden Administration economic policies is sitting at 5.4 percent, gas prices are at a 7-year high, and heating bills are expected to rise as much as 54 percent this winter.

The Biden Administration continues to allow illegal immigrants to pour over the southern border. Questions remain about the disastrous handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. All while the White House fails to manage the COVID-19 pandemic they said would be over by July 4.

 Instead of convening hearings on any of these topics and holding the Biden Administration accountable for its actions – Committee Democrats have called this hearing because they watched a deceptively recorded and edited 8-minute video clip of an Exxon lobbyist.

Committee Democrats won’t tell the American people that the basis of their misguided inquiry appears to be a multi-month operation launched by activist group Greenpeace UK involving fake websites and Linked-In profiles, false job opportunities, and deceptive e-mails and interviews. Given the questionable activities undertaken by Greenpeace UK to obtain the so-called information at the heart of this investigation the American people must question the legitimacy of the Democrats’ actions.

When Committee Republicans asked Chairwoman Maloney to join us in requesting the full video back on August 12, 2021 they refused. Ironically, just yesterday, over two months later, the Democrats wrote saying that they now would like to join our request. 

I don’t know what took so long, but they apparently didn’t want the full video to be shown at today’s hearing. In reality, they don’t want to see it and they don’t want the American people to see it. Democrats didn’t invite the person who was secretly recorded to the hearing today because they are more interested in a spectacle.

Instead, Committee Democrats took this questionable information and wrote letters to the CEOs who are appearing today. They requested internal documents and communications these entities had with the federal government and lawmakers. They struck at the very heart of the First Amendment protections that exist for these groups and any American to petition their government.

We raised objections to Chairwoman Maloney about the protected nature of these communications and the chilling effect these requests would have on the ability of entities to petition their government. However, Democrats have not bothered to respond to our concerns.

The purpose of this hearing is clear: to deliver partisan theater for primetime news.

Subcommittee Chairman Khanna went to the media threatening subpoenas months before any of the witnesses were even invited to testify. Now, despite receiving well over 100,000 pages of documents from today’s witnesses, Democrats are complaining that no one is cooperating with them.

Chairwoman Maloney, this hearing is simply a distraction from the crises that the Biden Administration’s policies have caused for the American people.

 Just last week, President Biden admitted he had no solution for the skyrocketing gas prices. He said prices will not go down until 2022. That’s a problem for all Americans, especially low-income households. 

Meanwhile, hours after President Biden took office, he canceled the Keystone Pipeline and put 11,000 workers out of a job overnight. Including the Republican witness, Neal Crabtree who is still looking for work. 

I look forward to hearing from the witnesses and yield back.”

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