A landmark hearing today in the House Committee on Natural Resources “The Role of Public Relations Firms in Preventing Action on Climate Change”
The committee issued a 116 page report to accompany the hearing. The Appendices are really interesting, with internal documents and details on PR campaigns.
The House investigators first sent letters in February 2022 to firms that give AWARDS to PR campaigns.
They followed with letters to multiple PR firms in June
In August, the Committee pursued this conversation with FTI Consulting
Chair Grijalva, Rep. Porter Send Second Request Letter to Fossil …
Aug 16, 2022 … today sent a second letter to oil and gas public relations (PR) firm FTI Consulting requesting any of the firm’s PR work, marketing, or influence campaigns for oil, gas, and coal companies and trade groups.
August 17, 2022 Mr. Steven H. Gunby President and Chief Executive …
Aug 16, 2022 …FTI Consulting. 555 12th Street, NW … On June 12, 2022, the House Committee on Natural Resources (“Committee”) sent FTI Consulting(“FTI”).
OUR PR INVESTIGATIONS
Climate Investigations Center’s work on the PR Industry going back to 2014 and our work with DeSmog on this goes back to 2006! DeSmog, with a original mission statement of “clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science”.
We started with a simple survey of PR Companies about their work around fossil fuels in 2014. Edelman stepped in it by accidentally responding to us with an internal message from executive telling staff not to respond to our survey, writing, “I don’t believe we are obligated in any way to respond. There are only wrong answers for this guy.”
The Committee is investigating FTI Consulting which is promising.
Our files on FTI are pretty good
And many of the climate lawsuits we are following are now focused on the role of PR agencies in pushing misinformation that harms consumers. See the Washington DC case and Massachusetts v ExxonMobil for example: