This week, 13 Republicans of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, sent letters to 17 Democratic AGs and activist groups requesting documents related to their coordinated efforts to deprive various groups their rights to free speech. House members are also investigating attempts to deny more than 100 organizations and individuals their ability to “conduct scientific research without intimidation and threats of prosecution.” Self-labeled the Green 20, the 17 Democratic attorneys general (AGs) and eight environmental activist groups are accused of trying to suppress “those who have questioned the causes, magnitude, or best ways to address climate change.”
The Green 20’s most vocal leader, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, dismissed the House GOP letter, calling it “ironic” in a statement. Those familiar with the investigation say that the Democratic AGs have been collaborating with Big Green in an orchestrated effort to squelch contrary views, and are equivalent to “political theater rather than legal or scientific arguments.”
The letter accuses Schneiderman, former VP Al Gore, Democratic AGs, and activist groups of trying to “prosecute fossil fuel energy companies for engaging in fraud” by using “creative ways” such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act. At a March 29 press conference, Gore, Schneiderman, and other Democrats said they would use the RICO statute against fossil fuel companies, organizations, individuals, and non-profits that challenge the catastrophic global warming narrative.
Opponents of Gore and the Green 20’s attempts say it is “part of a larger strategy to achieve the president’s sweeping, job-killing climate change agenda” and validate the EPA’s Clean Power Plan that was put on hold by the Supreme Court. The letter also says “reports show 14 green-tech firms that Gore invested in” also “benefited from over $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks as part of the administration’s push to fund U.S. renewable energy industry with taxpayer funds.”
Crippling fossil fuel companies would not only raise energy costs for all Americans, but continue Obama’s climate legacy as the RICO suit wends its way through the courts. Scientists who testified before congress projected the administration’s CO2 regulations would cost $39 billion a year and hurt American consumers and businesses. Even though, as EPA chief Gina McCarthy testified, these regulations would only avert warming by 0.01 degrees Celsius.
Gore also told reporters at the press event 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.”
The entire RICO investigation rests on a series of articles published last year by InsideClimate News (ICN), an environmental activist organization funded by left-wing billionaires. The activist group alleges that Exxon knew rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could cause catastrophic global warming, but suppressed the information and stopped doing research.
The smoking gun was a single email in 1981 from an Exxon in-house scientist regarding the possible effects of increased CO2 emissions. Neela Banerjee, who co-wrote the ICN, told radio station KERA last November that they “never meant to suggest that ExxonMobil stopped climate science research in the late 1980s.” But in her October 20 story, ICN wrote: “[Exxon] later curtailed its research program and instead led a long campaign to create doubt about climate science.“
Neela also admitted that, “We’ve never said that Exxon somehow manipulated its own internal science or got in the way of other people doing sound science.” ExxonMobil has denied any wrongdoing and has set up a website to counter the allegations.