House committee at war with state AG's prosecuting climate change dissenters
The House Science and Technology Committee sent a letter to the 17 Democratic Party state attorneys general who are looking to prosecute ExxonMobil and other climate "dissenters," demanding they cooperate in an oversight investigation into a threat to the First Amendment and "the free flow of scientific research."
Several of the state A.G.s ignored a letter sent on May 16 requesting information on the investigations.
“The House Science Committee’s authority to investigate the concerns raised in my prior letter are grounded in the Constitution and reflected in the rules of the House of Representatives. The Committee strongly disagrees with your contentions,” said the letter, led by committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican.
“The Committee intends to continue its vigorous oversight of the coordinated attempt to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, and scientists of their First Amendment rights and ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution,” the letter said.
The committee renewed its request for the 17 attorneys general — sometimes called the “Green 20” — to turn over documents related to their campaign, including communications with 10 environmental groups and foundations, by June 24.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who hosted a March 29 press conference to unveil AGs United for Clean Power, declined last month to cooperate with the committee’s investigation, citing the “lack of congressional jurisdiction over state law enforcement activities and the committee’s intrusion into sovereign state actions protected by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Climate advocacy groups including Greenpeace, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the RockefellerBrothers Fundhave also refused to comply with the panel’s request for information related to their work with the attorneys general.
“The premise of Chairman Smith’s letter is a farce,” UCS President Ken Kimmell said in a May 19 statement. “The attorneys general are not investigating ExxonMobil’s scientific research, but rather whether the company misled shareholders and the public about the dangers of climate change in order to continue profiting from a lucrative product.”
So far, the committee has issued requests only for information, not subpoenas.
Whenever a liberal cites the 10th Amendment to make a case, you know they're in trouble.
The A.G.s are conspiring with powerful green groups to extort money from Exxon and silence dissenters to their scientific viewpoint. If there was ever a clearer case where congressional oversight was needed, I can't think of one.
I don't think there's any doubt that the committee will issue subpoenas if there is continued non-cooperation. This kind of lawfare must be stopped if any shred of the First Amendment is to be maintained. You cannot use the law as a club to silence people you disagree with. Even if you believe that this is not the intent of the A.G.s – we all know it is – the unintended consequences of their actions requires that they be blocked.
The case for Exxon fraud is ludicrously weak on its face. The A.G.s are threatening the oil giant, hoping they will see that it is far less expensive to settle than go through a trial, leading to a multi-billion-dollar award. This will become a state slush fund to "mitigate" the effects of climate change, no doubt with most of the cash ending up in the hands of cronies.
This is the way that Democrats "govern" in the early part of the 21st century.