It's not surprising to see a large oil company donating to Republicans, many of whom have brushed off climate change and advocated for the petroleum industry, but Chevron is in a league of its own compared to other major oil producers, according to Mahdavi.
"Chevron carries the most anti-climate rhetoric and public-facing platform when it comes to domestic environmental policies" Mahdavi said. "The company has routinely denied the core tenets of climate science and rejects the notion of a future without fossil fuels."
In an emailed statement to KQED following the publication of this story, Chevron representative Sean Comey claimed that characterization is inaccurate, saying, "Chevron believes the future of energy is lower carbon. We are working to help achieve that goal by reducing our carbon intensity, increasing renewables and offsets, and investing in low-carbon technologies. We recognize the findings of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the use of fossil fuels contributes to increases in global temperatures. We support the Paris Agreement and well-designed climate change and energy policy."
In recent weeks, executives for several large U.S. corporations have said they would either halt or review political donations to lawmakers who voted to overturn the election after the violent mob attacked the Capitol.
In an earlier statement, Comey said the company is looking into the issue:
"We continue our practice of regularly reviewing our policies, procedures and expenditures for political activities, including political contributions," he said.
"Recent events will be part of our review process. Chevron supports political candidates that take positions on a range of topics," Comey said. "We are not always aligned with all their views, but it is important for us to be part of discussions on important issues, including respect for the rule of law and well-designed climate change and energy policy."
Mahdavi says that if Chevron does not change its political donations, it would send a clear message to members of Congress, that "we [Chevron] don't care what you stand for as long as you support unabated oil and gas development with little concern to climate change."
Of course, the political tides in Washington are changing. Several days ago President Biden signed an executive order to start halting new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters. That effort to slow the nation's contribution to climate change is bound to face opposition from Chevron.
The international energy corporation — one of the largest companies in the country with close to 50,000 employees — says it gave $15 million to political candidates and state ballot measure campaigns in the United States and Australia in 2019.
"Our objective is to support political candidates, organizations and measures that aligned with Chevron's business interests," the company says on its website.