Energy

Poll Shows Voters Oppose Investigating Global Warming Skeptics

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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A majority of voters oppose the government investigating companies and individuals that hold skeptical positions on man-made global warming.

A Rasmussen report published Tuesday found that 69 percent of U.S. voters oppose such measures. Fifteen percent call investigations against so-called “deniers” a worthwhile use of time. A small portion — 16 percent — is undecided.

The poll of likely voters comes on the heels of a months-long inquisition into ExxonMobil’s internal memos on climate change. There are also investigations targeting nonprofit groups that supposedly make up a “web of denial,” or global warming skeptics laying triage for the oil producer.

New York Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman instituted the first investigation into Exxon’s internal memos. The New York AG’s investigation was “demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents” from the oil producer dating all the way back to the 1970s. The AG also demanded information on global warming skeptic groups Exxon had once helped fund.

U.S. Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker subpoenaed free market group Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) April 7 for supporting Exxon’s position. Walker withdrew his subpoena against CEI as well. The subpoena demanded a decade’s worth of the group’s work on global warming and energy.

Schneiderman’s probes have been shrouded in mystery, leading to reports that the attorney general is using prominent environmentalist activists to aid in the investigation. Schneiderman’s office invited two environmental activists earlier this year to give presentations to a group of prosecutors about “climate change litigation” and the “imperative of taking action now on climate change.”

The presentations, which were delivered behind closed doors, came shortly before the New York attorney general was joined by a trove of attorneys general and former Vice President Al Gore in excoriating the oil giant for “fraud” and “deceiving the American people.”

All of the dirt kicked around as a result of the investigations and backbiting has apparently not gone over well among American voters. Only 21 percent of Democratic likely voters said they favor the government investigating global warming skeptics, according to the Rasmussen report.

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