Emails show activists colluding with AGs to squash free speech

Claude Walker (right) with his "hero" Al GoreClaude Walker (right) with his “hero” Al GoreU.S. Virgin Islands’ attorney general Claude Walker has placed a bullseye squarely on the backs of conservative and libertarian-leaning groups over allegations of “racketeering” in the increasingly partisan global warming debate. Described as an all-encompassing effort, the subpoena was first issued in March and finally made public Tuesday in its unredacted form. Emails released also show how green activists conspired with government officials to squelch “contrary views”, suppress free speech, and demonize the fossil fuel industry.

The wording of the subpoena makes clear that Virgin Islands’ attorney general Claude Walker will be utilizing the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act to silence global warming skeptics and crush political opponents. Aside from serving ExxonMobil with a subpoena, Walker has also served one up to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI.) 

The Walker subpoena is part of a much larger coalition of Democratic attorneys generals (AGs) targeting climate change skeptics using the RICO statute, a legal tool normally reserved for indicting members of organized crime. On March 29, New York’s AG Eric T. Schneiderman, standing alongside former Vice President Al Gore, announced that his new coalition would find “creative ways” to prosecute fossil fuel companies, individuals, and organizations who disagree with the catastrophic global warming narrative.

Gore remarked that this was an historic coalition to investigate “commercial interests that have been… deceiving the American people” about the reality of the “climate crisis and the dangers it poses to all of us.” As for Schneiderman, this is not the first time he has sought media attention over controversial issues. The NY attorney general has been hot with accusations of political bias from both the right- and left-wing punditry, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to further his own political agenda.

The entire investigation rests on articles published last year by InsideClimate News, a climate activist organization funded by left-wing billionaires. The group alleges that Exxon knew rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could cause catastrophic global warming, but suppressed the information. The smoking gun was a single email in 1981 from an Exxon in-house scientist regarding the possible effects of increased CO2 emissions. Both the LA Times and NY Times propped up the allegations with direct quotes from the InsideClimate article, with middling to no fact checking.

Climate accusations have enjoyed a strangely muddled history. In 1981, numerous news outlets were championing the great global cooling scare that never materialized as illustrated in the recent documentary Climate Hustle. In 1988, with a ceremonial kick-off by then-NASA employee James Hansen, the idea of a coming ice age morphed into the great global warming scare caused by the burning of fossil fuels. To its credit, Exxon has denied any wrongdoing and has supplied information to news outlets showing where InsideClimate News’ ostensible ‘investigation’ went off the rails.

The original redacted subpoena from Walker was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in April, and a newly released copy of the subpoena shows for the first time whom Walker is targeting. The subpoena asks for all communications that the oil company has undertaken with “88 conservative and libertarian think tanks, foundations, and universities, and 54 individual researchers, scientists, and writers.” Walker even subpoenaed the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative think tank.

CEI’s General Counsel Sam Kazman responded on the its website, writing: “The attack on First Amendment rights by U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Walker, Al Gore, and a coalition of attorneys general, is clearly political targeting aimed at stifling free speech and intimidating policy groups and private individuals who disagree with them.”

As indicated in the broadly sculpted subpoena—a lawsuit in search of a crime—AG Walker “effectively asks for all CEI communications on climate change and energy policy from 1997 through 2007, including private donor information.” CEI says it will vigorously fight the unabashed attempts of the politically motivated AG who is targeting “anyone who holds different opinions than these government officials, whether that is on climate change or any other issue.”

Andrew M. Grossman, the outside attorney handling the case for CEI, responded to the charges, by writing: “Your demand on CEI is offensive, it is un-American, it is unlawful, and it will not stand. You can either withdraw it or expect to fight.” Most analysts familiar with the issue say that Walker will encounter similar resistance from the other groups and individuals.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former Federal Election Commissioner and a senior legal fellow at Heritage, called the subpoena “a truly outrageous abuse of [the attorney general’s] authority and a misuse of the law. This investigation is intended to silence and chill any opposition,” von Spakovsky wrote. “It is disgraceful and contemptible behavior by public officials who are willing to exploit their power to achieve ideological ends.”

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  • Avatar

    Amber

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    The AG’s United Lobby Group steals time from tax payers while on the governments payroll .
    They should pursue their lobbying on someone else’s dime and be dismissed .
    Government officials conspiring with green groups and others to silence free speech and freedom of expression is a very troubling and illegal activity . If anyone group should know this it would be AG’s .

    Why not ask for Exxon communication when global cooling was being sold .
    In any event who cares what Exxon consultants opinions are . Warming has been going on for 10,000 years and is overall beneficial to the planets forests ,
    plants ,and animals . If the seas rise a bit so what ? More room for fish . Do the AG’s have a problem with that ?

    The attack on free speech and the expression of opinion is disgusting .

  • Avatar

    Stevencap

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    This is just really troubling. There are many, many people who question the presumption of man-made global warming. Should they face intimidation or political pressure simply because they believe, for example, that changes in solar output can affect climate? It may sound simplistic, but that’s the point we’re reaching.

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    When a group with power colludes to deny anyone’s civil rights based upon race, gender, or sexual orientation there are law suits and severe penalties.

    Why no concern when this applies to intellectual opinions or free speech? Where is the media outrage and demand for action?

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Good point GT82DRV . “Where is the media outrage ” ? This just confirms why much of MSM have lost their relevance . For the most part they are reduced to print what ever politically correct nonsense they are fed . It costs money to do the research and go against the propaganda spin of the scary global warming promoters .

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    A group photo of these AG lobbyists needs to be taken so the world can see what freedom of speech silencers look like . Land of the free ? Not any more . Why not investigate the $$billion dollar rip off of taxpayers from the industry they openly lobby for ? Sunedison the most recent flame out or Solyndra or Abengoa . Over a $$Billion dollars of tax payer charity to these companies . When did the executives know they were going down ?
    Who in government was overseeing the tax payers interests ? Apparently some AG’s
    want to act as champions for the “clean power sector . Kind of hard to see how that aligns with protecting tax payer interests which after all is who pays their salaries .
    Why would any Governor or State elected officials condone this obvious conflict of interest ?

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    Notice whore monger Al Gore with body and head leaning back as if observing and absorbing a great profundity. His ” rock of Gibraltar ” chin prominent and ready to take in ill-gotten billions from his stance ( visible and imagined ) alone. The very essence of contrived nobility and presumed entitlement.

    Too bad he couldn’t convince the people of the USA that in 2000. But of course he can easily dissuade the GHE, AGW, etc. crowd.

    And most people think the mainstream electorate are stupid ?

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    [quote name=”JayPee”]Notice whore monger Al Gore with body and head leaning back as if observing and absorbing a great profundity. His ” rock of Gibraltar ” chin prominent and ready to take in ill-gotten billions from his stance ( visible and imagined ) alone. The very essence of contrived nobility and presumed entitlement.[/quote]
    …And there are other photos from that same propaganda press conference where [u]each[/u] person has that same look of arrogant entitlement. The look says, “We ARE the government, and we’ll do anything we damn well please”.

    Of course when you have a stable of activist judges looking the other way or even rubber stamping your crimes, the Constitution becomes little more than a speed bump. Add a fully compliant media who traded their note pads and probing questions for cheerleader outfits and these creeps may have reason to look smug.

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    The conspiracy between the AG’s and the environmental groups is clearly a violation of human rights that should be prosecuted under RICO. However, I’m sure the Obama administration will grant his political allies the right to break the law.

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    [quote name=”David Lewis”]The conspiracy between the AG’s and the environmental groups is clearly a violation of human rights that should be prosecuted under RICO. However, I’m sure the Obama administration will grant his political allies the right to break the law.[/quote]
    And on the way out the door Obama can grant them all pardons. Rotten to the core…

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    .[/quote]
    And on the way out the door Obama can grant them all pardons. Rotten to the core…[/quote]
    Notice any similarities ?

    Clinton was the ” white O’Bama ” or at least his fully white precursor.

    While O’Bama has been the black Clinton.

    Think historically,
    how were they different ?

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