Democrats Ask SEC to Probe Shell on Climate Change

Shell Oil

Three House Democrats are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to probe whether Shell Oil's securities filings improperly concealed the company's acknowledgment of the impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions while funding groups that dispute the reality of climate change, according to a letter released March 8.

“In this case, Shell engineers knew about climate change and Shell took internal actions based on its knowledge of climate change. Yet, Shell funded and publicly engaged in a campaign to deceive the American people about the known risks of fossil fuels in causing climate change,” Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.), Peter Welch (Vt.) and Matt Cartwright (Pa.) said in the letter to Mary Jo White, chairwoman of the SEC.

Fossil fuel companies are facing increasing scrutiny and calls from investors to openly address greenhouse gas emissions as countries look to implement the first international agreement on climate change reached in Paris at the end of 2015.

Bloomberg BNA reporter Andrew Childers covered the story for subscribers. 

Andrew reports that the letter follows a similar request the three members of Congress made to the Justice Department asking it to investigate whether Shell violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or consumer protection laws by downplaying the effects of climate change.

Bloomberg BNA reporter Anthony Adragna covered that story for subscribers in February.