A noted environmental activist met with an attorney general conducting an inquisition against ExxonMobil long before reports surfaced alleging the company hid information related to global warming, a panel at the Democratic Progressive Caucus revealed Wednesday.
Eco-author Naomi Oreskes, who authored Merchant of Doubt, a book about the history of global warming skepticism, told the panel that she “was invited about a year or so ago to New York to speak to the staff” of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “mostly about the work we did in Merchant of Doubt – the history of misinformation and what our findings were.”
She is also a board member of the Climate Accountability Institute (CAI), a group responsible for manipulating data smearing Exxon. Oreskes told the panel she convened a few weeks ago “with some colleagues from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which also involved the staff of Attorney Generals offices from a number of states who came to listen to again factual presentations about climate science, history of climate disinformation and also a presentation by Sharon Eubanks who had led the US Department of justice prosecution of tobacco industry under the RICO statues.”
The climate science author was likely referring to the Attorneys General United for Clean Power, a group of about 17 attorneys general, as well as former Vice President Al Gore, committed to investigating Exxon and global warming skeptics for supposedly duping the public about climate change.
The panel was a who’s who of global warming researchers, as well as a slew of Democratic members of Congress — it included Democratic congressmen Matt Cartwright, of Pensylvania, Ted Lieu, of California, and Minnesota representative Keith Ellison.
Testifying alongside Oreskes were anti-fossil fuel activists Kathy Mulvey of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), as well as Ed Garvey, a former Exxon climate researcher who directed the InsideClimate News team toward Exxon researchers with information about the company.
Schneiderman suggested in March that Exxon’s penalties should be harsher than just mere financial fines, adding that the company’s decision to hide information on climate change is not protected by the First Amendment.
“Financial damages alone may be insufficient,” Eric Schneiderman said during an event in New York City in March. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.” It’s unclear if he meant those “misleading” the public on global warming should be tossed in prison or something worse.
Activist pushed research in peer-reviewed journals blaming companies for global warming in order to build their current legal case against Exxon. Activists who met at a conference in La Jolla, Calif., in 2012 pushed the idea of using “peer-reviewed research” to castigate Exxon for global warming. Oreskes’ CAI coordinated alongside UCS the now-infamous La Jolla conference.
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