This month, Extinction Rebellion Vancouver hoped to launch a national debate on fossil-fuel subsidies with 14 consecutive days of peaceful civil disobedience.
On the final day of its October Rebellion on October 29, the group says that activists will lock themselves to a structure in Vancouver.
Prior to the event, Extinction Rebellion Vancouver supporters will gather in Nelson Park at 4:30 p.m. before moving to the unnamed structure.
To date, there have been 49 arrests during their campaign, including one in Nanaimo. Extinction Rebellion Vancouver has a single demand during this series of demonstrations: an end to fossil-fuel subsidies in Canada.
According to Environmental Defence, the federal government provided $18 billion in subsidies to this sector in 2020. Stand.earth has estimated that the B.C. government will provide $1.3 billion in subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry in this fiscal year.
Oil executives testify before Congress
The final day of the October Rebellion comes a day after oil-industry CEOs and the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce testified before the U.S. House of Representatives committee on oversight and reform.
It's the main investigative committee of Congress and the hearing was focused on the companies' efforts to mislead people about the causes of the climate crisis.
A report presented by staff working for the Democratic majority on the committee cited admissions by former ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy that the carbon tax wasn't going to pass. But ExxonMobil would say that it supported it.
McCoy said in the video below that he spoke to Democratic senator Joe Manchin's office every week. "On the Democrats, we look for the moderates on these issues. It's the Manchins, it's the Sinemas, it's the Testers," McCoy said.
In addition, the report noted that the American Petroleum Institute, which is funded by oil companies, "spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying on legislative priorities over the past decade—yet only a tiny fraction of that lobbying activity was in support of the Paris Agreement or carbon pricing".
"Big Oil devoted far more effort to lobbying to lower its taxes than on either the Paris Agreement or carbon pricing legislation," the report noted.
In fact, less than 0.4 percent of lobbing concerned carbon taxes whereas more than 56 percent concerned taxation since 2011, according to reports filed by the industry's outside lobbyists.
ExxonMobil "reportedly invested only 0.22% of capital expenditures to low-carbon projects between 2010 and 2018," the report stated.
The CEO of ExxonMobil, Darren Woods, claimed that his company "has long acknowledged the reality and risks of climate change, and it has devoted significant resources to addressing those risks".
He and other CEOs also denied that their companies spread disinformation on the climate. That brought on condemnation from Democrats on the committee.
BP only spent 2.3 percent of its capital expenditures on low-carbon investments over the same period. And Shell's emissions "were nearly twice that of the entire nation of Canada, and the company plans to increase natural gas extraction by 20%".
In 2015, the Los Angeles Times published a damning exposé revealing that ExxonMobil was well aware of the impact of global warming in reducing future exploration and development costs in northern Canada in the early 1990s.
"The gulf between Exxon’s internal and external approach to climate change from the 1980s through the early 2000s was evident in a review of hundreds of internal documents, decades of peer-reviewed published material and dozens of interviews conducted by Columbia University’s Energy & Environmental Reporting Project and the Los Angeles Times." the paper reported.
In his opening remarks, one of the Democrats on the committee, Ro Khanna, urged the executives not to follow the same playbook at tobacco executives, who misled Congress during a similar hearing in 1994.
"Spare us the spin, today," Khanna said.
Khanna also denounced the industry's focus on capturing carbon (which was the subject of a Georgia Straight article on October 28).
"I want to make this point clearly: all of the captured carbon is being used to enhance oil extraction and actually increasing CO2 emissions in the world, even though there is no economically proven way to store CO2 indefinitely," Khanna said.
The majority staff report noted that one of the oil companies, Chevron, would reduce just 0.7 percent of its total carbon emissions through carbon capture. The company's total emissions of greenhouse gases reached 697 million tonnes in 2019, which was slightly lower than Canada's entire total of 730 million tonnes in the same year.
The COP26 international climate meetings begin in Glasgow on October 31.