Diana Marszalek 13 Jun 2022 // 6:03PM GMT
WASHINGTON — Two federal lawmakers are calling on PR firms to turn over information on climate change campaigns produced for big oil clients, according to the Washington Post.
The Post reports that two House Democrats — Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the House Natural Resources Committee chair, and California Rep. Katie Porter, who chairs the committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee — are asking five firms for their records: DDC Public Affairs, FTI Consulting, Singer Associates, Story Partners, and Blue Advertising, as well as the American Petroleum Institute.
In a letter shared with the Post’s Climate 202 newsletter, Grijalva and Porter asked the firms for all documents and communications tied to work for fossil fuel companies from Jan 1, 2013 to the present. Grijalva could subpoena firms that don’t meet the June 27 deadline to do so.
“For decades, fossil fuel companies and associations have engaged in public relations campaigns to downplay the threat of climate change and the central role fossil fuels have played in causing it,” the lawmakers wrote. “These influence campaigns were intended to prevent the country from taking critical steps to address the climate crisis.”
The call for information is the latest step in an ongoing campaign to see agencies cut ties with the world’s biggest polluters.
In January, more than 450 scientists called on PR and advertising firms to stop working with fossil fuel companies.
The effort was coordinated in partnership with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Clean Creatives, an ad and PR industry advocacy organization which, in November, launched a high-profile celebrity and influencer campaign calling on Edelman to drop fossil fuel clients, most notably ExxonMobil.
Two weeks earlier, Edelman unveiled a series of actions it pledged to take in response to those calls, which include walking away from companies that do not meet a series of criteria on climate action. At that time, Edelman identified 20 emissions-intensive clients for follow-up discussions after a 60-day review of its portfolio.
Edelman, however, stopped short of dropping fossil fuel companies across-the-board, saying its work pushing clients toward achieving net zero goals is more productive than walking away.