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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey: Shell Does About Face on Renewables, Contradicting Congressional Testimony

Company Drops Plans for Wind and Solar Projects as Oil Companies Increase Lobbying by 64 Percent

Washington, D.C. – After telling a Congressional panel that they were investing heavily in renewable energy, Shell Oil Company did an about-face and announced that it has dropped plans to invest in crucial renewable energy technologies like wind and solar. The then-president of the company appeared before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming last year and touted the company’s investments in alternatives as a solution to rising oil and gas prices.

Meanwhile, Shell increased its total lobbying budget in 2008, and the industry as a whole increased lobbying expenditures by 64 percent, according to new figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) of the Select Committee issued the following statement: “I am disappointed, but cannot say I am surprised. Apparently Shell Oil only wants to place wind turbines and solar panels is in its big-budget commercials, rather than in places where they can help consumers.”

“Less than a year ago, the president of Shell Oil testified before Congress that they were committed to investing in renewables, singling out its wind and solar projects. Now he is gone and, yesterday, Shell dropped this ruse. The only thing big oil companies like Shell are interested in investing in is more lobbyists,” continued Rep. Markey.

On April 1, 2008, Mr. John Hofmeister, the then-president of Shell Oil Company, pledged his company’s dedication to renewable energy investment and research at a hearing of the Select Committee.
“Shell has invested in alternative and renewable technologies, as well as additional conventional and new unconventional energy sources,” Mr. Hofmeister testified. “Shell is becoming a significant wind energy producer.…Our activities focus on the development and operation of commercial-scale wind developments that can add significant power and capacity to the grid.”

Mr. Hofmeister continued, “Shell is an international developer of thin-film solar technology. We believe thin-film technology – although in the early phases of development – could prove to be the most commercially viable form of photovoltaic solar technology to generate electricity from the sun’s energy.” (For Mr. Hofmeister's full testimony, please CLICK HERE)

Rep. Markey concluded, “Shell’s refusal to invest in a renewable energy technologies ignores the future of clean energy. The economic recovery legislation passed by Congress last month included key measures that will enable American businesses to harness the power of green energy to help consumers save money and heal our planet. I urge Shell and the other major oil companies to seize this historic opportunity and join us in creating a clean energy future.”

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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