A group of Democratic state attorneys general calling themselves “AGs United for Clean Energy” have mounted a vicious campaign of RICO investigations – RICO is a racketeering law – specifically targeting Exxon and climate skeptic think tanks. The AGs claim they are searching for lies and fraud that would harm the public. Newly obtained documents show that wasn’t their purpose at all. It was a partisan political coalition to support the Obama Administration’s climate agenda and nothing else.
The key document was a letter dated March 7 inviting Democratic AGs to join in the March 29 press conference with Al Gore to launch AGs United for Clean Energy. Its purpose statement: “The commitments of the United States and other nations at last year’s Paris climate change conference are very significant steps forward, but states must still play a critical role in ensuring that the promises made in Paris become reality.” That is a political goal.
Political activist groups such as Bill McKibben’s 350.org started the #ExxonKnew campaign, claiming that Exxon knew climate change was catastrophic but hid its own company science that proved “ExxonKnew.” In fact, Exxon’s climate science was published in peer-reviewed journals available to the public for decades – and contained the same degree of uncertainty and certainty as government science, but government scientists found ways to mask the uncertainties to suit policy, as the ClimateGate emails revealed.
Katie Brown, PhD, of Energy In Depth, reported that the AGs United for Clean Energy attack “isn’t really about Exxon at all. Rather, it’s about providing the air support these AGs believed was necessary to hasten the adoption and implementation of policies that were discussed in Paris.”
As Craig Richardson of Energy & Environment Legal put it: “That is a political cause, which the AGs seek to extend by improper means, circumventing the proper, democratic political process.”
Brown added, “And if the multitude of editorial boards and legal experts coming out against this campaign isn’t enough, a new Rasmussen poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose what the AGs are doing:
“69% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the government investigating and prosecuting scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming. Just 15% favor such investigations, while just as many (16%) are undecided.”
Brown concluded, “These are just the latest threads in the unraveling of a political activist campaign. There’s a lot to keep track of, to be sure — so Energy in Depth has put together a timeline which includes everything you need to know.”