Energy giant under microscope on 'climate change'

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

ExxonMobil refineryTexas isn't turning a blind eye to efforts involving attorneys general and ExxonMobil.

Claude Earl Walker, attorney general of the Virgin Islands, issued a subpoena for more than four decades' worth of Exxon records and communications, alleging the company has engaged in racketeering due to its stated position on climate change. In a press release on Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was joining Alabama in asking a state judge to "put an end to a ridiculous investigation."

Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department attorney now working for The Heritage Foundation, likes that someone stood up to stop the investigation.

"I think it's terrific," Spakovsky says. "In fact, I've read their motion to intervene and they make it pretty clear that they think what's going on is not just wrong, but is an abuse of the legal system."

The Heritage Foundation is among nearly 100 center-right organizations that Walker is requesting ExxonMobil communications with over the years. Regardless, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands isn't alone. Several state attorneys general are investigating ExxonMobil for things related to climate change. That includes New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Speaking at a press conference on March 29, Schneiderman said: "Climate change is real." If companies are committing fraud by lying about the dangers of climate change, Schneiderman added: "They will pursue them to the fullest extent of the law."

von Spakovsky, Hans (Heritage)"It would be one thing if they were investigating possible criminal activity, but that's not what they're investigating," notes Spakovsky. "They're investigating First Amendment activities; they're investigating folks for their opinions about an unproven scientific theory: climate change. That's very different from a real, criminal investigation."

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