I’m making this a sticky post for the day. Its important.
With seven state attorneys general and Al Gore sharing a New York City stage , there was no doubt about it: It was showtime for a whodunit. The crime being investigated? Dissent.
The March 29 news conference unveiled, according to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, an “unprecedented” coalition to fight not only climate change but also allegedly deceptive speech about climate change. The group, which dubbed itself AGs United for Clean Power, promised to “use all the tools at our disposal” to battle for progress on “the most consequential issue of our time.”
Schneiderman was blunt about his goal of shutting down debate: “You have to tell the truth. You can’t make misrepresentations of the kinds we’ve seen here.”
This isn’t a law-and-order drama. It’s politics clothed in messianic garb, and its primary tools are censorship and intimidation.
The AGs are following a familiar script here: target an unpopular, deep-pocketed business, harass that business’s potential allies with overly broad investigations, run roughshod over the target’s First Amendment protections and settle once the politically weakened company tires of fighting the endless resources of the state.
ExxonMobil was singled out by name at the news conference, but the coalition appears to be following the script perfectly. Now it’s on to the fishing-expedition stage.
On April 7, our organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was subpoenaed by coalition member and U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker for all CEI material on climate change and energy policy, as well as information on our supporters, over 10 years beginning in 1997. The subpoena’s purported focus is on our contacts with ExxonMobil, a former CEI donor that publicly ended its support for us after 2005. Nonetheless, the subpoena calls for practically all of our material on climate change and energy policy, as well as information on any donors who directly or indirectly supported that work.
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