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An oil flare at a BP plant in Whiting, Indiana. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced on Friday it will hold a "landmark" hearing next week with fossil fuel executives focused on the industry's role in spreading climate disinformation.

Why it matters: This is the first time oil company CEOs, and the head of their main trade group, will testify under oath about their knowledge of the link between burning fossil fuels and climate change, per Axios' Andrew Freedman.

Details: The hearing will take place on October 28th and top executives from ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron, and Shell Oil are slated to appear, as are trade group execs from the American Petroleum Institute and President and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  • "We are deeply concerned that the fossil fuel industry has reaped massive profits for decades while contributing to climate change that is devastating American communities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and ravaging the natural world," committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and subcommittee chair Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote in September. "We are also concerned that to protect those profits, the industry has reportedly led a coordinated effort to spread disinformation to mislead the public and prevent crucial action to address climate change."
  • The committee will also focus on efforts to block reforms and lobby against potential climate change action.

This hearing comes ahead of the the COP26 climate summit, slated to begin October 31 in Glasgow.

The big picture: Oil giants, under increasing pressure from activists and investors, have in recent years been stepping up their own climate efforts and investments in cleaner technologies. But oil and gas remain the dominant business lines, per Axios' Ben Geman.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 1, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exxon sets new emissions goals for 2030

An Exxon Mobil Corp. gas station in Falls Church, Virginia. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Exxon on Wednesday unveiled 2030 greenhouse gas targets as it faces investor and activist pressure to do more on climate.

Driving the news: They include a 20%-30% cut in corporate emissions intensity — that is, emissions per unit of output — and a 40%-50% intensity cut in oil-and-gas exploration and production.

Fall is heating up in Austin

Expand chart
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

This year's warm fall wasn't just a one-off. Autumn in Austin is getting warmer.

Why it matters: Sure, some people like a warm fall day, but fundamental climate changes can lead to more mosquitoes, higher cooling costs and longer allergy seasons.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.