Just before their national convention, a GOP leader in Congress decided to fire back against what they believe is a “posse” of state attorney generals who “have veered away from enforcing the law to environmental activism.” House Committee on Science, Space and Technology chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex) and his colleagues issued subpoenas to the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York last Wednesdays. They were a response to subpoenas these state officials issued as part of a probe of ExxonMobil’s financial support to organizations that are climate change-skeptical.
GOP representatives, such as Randy Weber (R-Tex.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), see the state investigations as abusing their subpoena power in order to intimidate ExxonMobil, and thus decided to issue their own subpoenas. Defending the states’ investigations, Union of Concerned Scientists’ president Ken Kimmell points out the irony of the GOP’s subpoenas, saying they “violate our actual free speech rights in the name of protecting ExxonMobil’s supposed right to misrepresent the work of its own scientists and deceive shareholders and the public.”
As the Republican Party—the only major political party in the world to deny the existence of man-made climate change—moves into their convention and decides their platform, it’s important to take note of the GOP’s federal probes of these state-level investigations. We might be seeing a lot more of them in the next few years.
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