Exxon lobbyist: Capito and "kingmaker" Manchin are "crucial" to the company
And here I thought they worked for West Virginians (with Friday update)
This story, from Britain's Channel 4 News, broke yesterday:
Senior Exxon lobbyist captured on video names 11 senators "crucial" to company: Capito, Manchin, Sinema, Tester, Hassan, Barrasso, Cornyn, Daines, Coons, Kelly and Rubio.— Anthony Adragna (@AnthonyAdragna) June 30, 2021
Calls Manchin "Kingmaker" and says speaks with office weekly. https://t.co/c3TOGaICgi
From the original Channel 4 story:
The explosive footage was obtained by Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s investigative platform, who posed as head-hunters to obtain the information from one of ExxonMobil’s most senior Washington lobbyists.
The lobbyist compared working with Congress to "going fishing":
Mr McCoy likens the approach to lobbying congressmen to the way fishermen target fish, claiming that ExxonMobil puts out “bait” and then “reels in” congressmen on issues like carbon tax, electric vehicles, chemicals, taxation and infrastructure.
Mr McCoy said: “When you have an opportunity to talk to a member of Congress, I liken it to fishing, right? You know you have bait, you throw that bait out. And they say: ‘Oh, you want to talk about infrastructure, yeah.’
“And then you start to reel them in and you start to have these conversations about federal leasing programmes, you start to have these conversations about a carbon tax. You know, it’s all these opportunities that you use and to use the fishing analogy again just to kind of reel them in.”
He added: “I make sure I get them the right information that they need so they look good. And then they help me out. They’re a captive audience. They know they need you. And I need them.”
WV's two senators make ExxonMobil's list:
Mr McCoy names 11 senators who he says are “crucial” to ExxonMobil: Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Senator Jon Tester, Senator Maggie Hassan, Senator John Barrasso, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Steve Daines, Senator Chris Coons, Senator Mark Kelly and Senator Marco Rubio.
(Note -- emphasis is mine.)
And Manchin gets special attention:
Mr McCoy described Senator Joe Manchin as “the Kingmaker” in the Senate and he says he spoke to his office on a weekly basis.
(Note -- The article linked above does a good job of explaining ExxonMobil's connection to Congress. It also has the nine minute video with the lobbyist.)
I'm not surprised that this is not getting much attention in the United States. (I guess a number of news sources see it as "politics as usual.") Some U.S. media have picked-up the story, however. From The Hill:
Exxon lobbyist concedes company fought 'against some of the science' in activist recording
Exxon Lobbyist Caught On Video Talking About Undermining Biden's Climate Push
ExxonMobil Lobbyist Reveals Joe Manchin 'Kingmaker' Among 11 Senators Targeted
Finally, The Wall Street Journal's interesting take on the story:
Exxon Disavows Remarks After Video Shows Lobbyists Dismissing Company’s Climate Stance
(Just a hunch on my part, but I don't think we will see anything about this in our local Ogden papers.)
While today's Intelligencer somehow missed this story, the Charleston Gazette-Mail has an editorial:
Gazette-Mail editorial: Exxon's hypocrisy shows D.C.'s cowardice