(Fox News) – Oil executives testified before Congress on Capitol Hill Thursday for the first time since 2015 to talk about climate change. Some lawmakers accuse the oil companies of perpetuating greenhouse gas emission.
“In my view you’re not living up to it [the President’s] mandate,” said Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who represents Texas. “It is a national security risk, it is an economic liability, it is a precedent in war and peace.”
The executives stress the environmental threats they face as a result of climate change.
“We’ve seen major roadways in New Orleans damaged, fire along the Permian in Texas and New Mexico,” said Mark Papa, CEO of Encana, an oil company. “We’ve seen rice crop damage that the equivalent of 14 Hurricanes, four years in a row.”
Papa pointed out the science behind climate change, telling Congress “there’s plenty of debate on what the exact definition of climate change is, but there’s no debate that the degree and the pace are bigger than anything before.”
John Hofmeister is a former CEO of Shell Oil, who opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s Endangerment Finding, which set an earlier date for carbon dioxide to be considered harmful for human health.
Hofmeister explained, “I think what we need to do is aggressively go after pollution in all the kinds of ways that energy companies have not for all these years.”
And most importantly, oil executives argue, climate change is not always an existential threat.
“I think our industry, the National Petroleum Council, our colleagues in this room, have spent countless hours studying the issues,” said Bob Dudley, CEO of BP. “And it is not at all true that if we had one drop of oil or gas, that we would soon see apocalypse in the climate or in the agriculture, food supplies.”
— FOX News’ Neil Cavuto contributed to this report.