GOP AGs say cli­mate change ‘alarmists’ can be sued

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

If Demo­cratic at­tor­neys gen­eral can pur­sue cli­mate change skep­tics for fraud, then also at risk of pros­e­cu­tion are cli­mate alarmists whose pre­dic­tions of global doom have failed to ma­te­ri­al­ize.

The “cuts both ways” ar­gu­ment was among those raised by 13 Repub­li­can at­tor­neys gen­eral in a let­ter urg­ing their Demo­cratic coun­ter­parts to stop us­ing their law en­force­ment power against fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies and oth­ers that chal­lenge the cli­mate change catas­tro­phe nar­ra­tive.

Con­sider care­fully the le­gal prece­dent and threat to free speech, said the state prosecutors in their let­ter last week, headed by Alabama At­tor­ney Gen­eral Luther Strange.

“If it is pos­si­ble to min­i­mize the risks of cli­mate change, then the same goes for ex­ag­ger­a­tion,” said the let­ter. “If min­i­miza­tion is fraud, ex­ag­ger­a­tion is fraud.”

The let­ter comes as Exxon Mo­bil fights off sub­poe­nas by two prosecutors — Mas­sachusetts At­tor­ney Gen­eral Maura Healey and Vir­gin Is­lands At­tor­ney Gen­eral Claude E. Walker — for decades’ worth of cli­mate-re­lated doc­u­ments and com­mu­ni­ca­tions with aca­demics, uni­ver­si­ties and free-mar­ket think tanks.

New York At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric T. Sch­nei­der­man and Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ka­mala Har­ris have also re­port­edly launched probes.

The 17 at­tor­neys gen­eral — 16 Democrats and one in­de­pen­dent — an­nounced at a March 29 press con­fer­ence that they had formed a coali­tion, AGs United for Clean Power.

“We think this ef­fort by our col­leagues to po­lice the global warm­ing de­bate through the power of the sub­poena is a grave mis­take,” said the let­ter.

The name of the coali­tion it­self shows that the at­tor­neys gen­eral “have taken the un­usual step of align­ing them­selves with the com­pe­ti­tion of their in­ves­tiga­tive tar­gets,” namely the so­lar and wind en­ergy.

“If the fo­cus is fraud, such align­ment by law en­force­ment sends the danger­ous sig­nal that com­pa­nies in cer­tain seg­ments of the en­ergy mar­ket need not worry about their mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions,” said the GOP let­ter.

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