Energy

Inhofe: AGs Using Extreme Tactic To Silence Global Warming Skeptics

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Oklahoma Republican Sen. [crscore]Jim Inhofe[/crscore] has shot back at a group of state attorneys general demanding documents from dozens of conservative groups, scientists and policy experts skeptical of global warming.

“Instead of honoring legitimate academic and scientific inquiry, the far-left has gone to extremes to silence those who disagree,” Inhofe told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is not about the science, it is about personal attacks and politics at its worst.”

Inhofe’s referring to investigations launched by the attorneys general of California, Massachusetts, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands into ExxonMobil’s global warming activities over the past 20 years or so. Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker has subpoenaed Exxon and a libertarian think tank for records under the guise the oil giant was violating the territory’s anti-racketeering law.

But it wasn’t until Tuesday night that an un-redacted copy of the subpoena Walker sent Exxon was obtained by reporters. Walker’s subpoena asked for information from 88 mostly-right-leaning think tanks along with 54 scientists and policy experts skeptical of global warming.

Exxon and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the only think tank subpoenaed so far, have both launched legal challenges to Walker’s subpoenas. CEI argued Walker’s subpoena is an attack on free speech.

Inhofe agrees, and argues the subpoena is meant to silence critics of left-wing claims that humans are causing catastrophic global warming.

“While the AGs have attempted to package this latest effort as a legal matter, this is nothing more than a misuse of power to score cheap political points,” he said. “In fact, it is no different than the tactics used by my Democrat colleagues in Congress or the collusive campaign launched by radical environmental activists to target many of these same people and organizations.”

“This is a step too far,” he said. “They know it and will be held accountable.”

Walker’s investigation is based on reporting by InsideClimate News and Columbia University, which purport to show Exxon knew its products would make global warming worse and funded groups skeptical of global warming regulations.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was the first state prosecutor to launch an investigation into Exxon’s global warming activities in November, and has since been working with environmental activists to push their case even further, according to leaked emails.

Those leaked emails also showed Walker and other AGs were presented with a common interest agreement to coordinate state-level investigations into Exxon. It’s not clear which AGs signed the common interest agreement, but it’s clear AGs are all taking different angles to get the documents from Exxon they believe will show the public they were being misled.

“They haven’t been able to get Congress to enact a national energy tax with cap-and-trade, and now their carbon mandates brought about through legal cases and backdoor negotiations are rapidly dying on the vine,” Inhofe said.

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