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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Don't expect a sedate House hearing Thursday on allegations that Big Oil has intentionally sown doubt about climate change.

What they're saying: "For far too long, Big Oil has escaped accountability for its central role in bringing our planet to the brink of a climate catastrophe. That ends today," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, intends to say in her opening remarks shared with Axios.

  • She'll note it's a landmark event because it's the first time "top fossil fuel executives are testifying together before Congress, under oath, about the industry’s role in causing climate change — and their efforts to cover it up."

The big picture: Maloney's statement provides a glimpse into how senior Democrats leading the investigation into the industry's past on climate will approach the virtual hearing that's slated to be getting underway later this morning.

What we don't know (yet): That's whether the panel's probe has, thus far, unearthed anything that wasn't part of past investigations.

  • Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times have run stories showing that major companies knew decades ago that their products could cause harmful climate change, but many of them funded campaigns to downplay or deny these risks.

What they're saying: We'll have more on the event soon. But for now, here's a little more to watch.

  • The executives will emphasize the present day, including their company's support for emissions targets, policies like carbon pricing, and investments in cleaner tech.
  • "Shell shares the Committee’s concern about the urgent need for society to take action on climate change by accelerating the transition to a lower-carbon energy future," Gretchen Watkins, Shell's top U.S. official, says in written testimony.
  • Part of Chevron's prepared testimony looks to rebut a premise of the inquiry. "While our views on climate change have developed over time, any suggestion that Chevron is engaged in a coordinated effort to spread disinformation and mislead the public on these complex issues is simply inaccurate," CEO Mike Wirth says in remarks submitted to the panel.

Go deeper: Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Fall is trending warmer in Minneapolis

Expand chart
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

This year's warm fall was not just a one-off. Autumn in Minnesota is getting warmer.

The details: The number of days with above-average temperatures in fall has been creeping up for the past 50 years in Minneapolis, according to NOAA data analyzed by climate science research group Climate Central.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, N.M. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
23 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil-and-gas leasing plan shows climate agenda's limits

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The big policy news over the break was the Interior Department's Black Friday release of its review of oil-and-gas leasing policy.

Catch up fast: The long-awaited document recommends higher royalty rates, bidding costs and rental costs.