The Climate Police Blink

claude walkerThere are few more rewarding sights than a bully scorned, so let’s hear it for the recent laments of Attorneys General Claude Walker (Virgin Islands) and Eric Schneiderman (New York), two ringleaders of the harassment campaign against Exxon and free-market think tanks over climate change.

Consider Mr. Walker’s recent retreat in District of Columbia superior court. In April he issued a sweeping subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demanding a decade of emails, policy work and donor names. The goal is to intimidate anyone who raises doubts about climate science or the policy responses.

CEI fought back. It ran a full-page newspaper ad highlighting the Walker-Schneiderman effort to criminalize speech, and it counter-sued the Virgin Islands, demanding sanctions and attorneys fees.

The District of Columbia has a statute to deter what is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The law exists to curb malicious lawsuits that are designed solely to chill speech, and they put the burden on filers like Mr. Walker to show why their actions are likely to succeed.

Mr. Walker quietly withdrew his subpoena on May 20 (though retaining the right to reinstate it). CEI is pressing ahead with its suit anyway, and in an extraordinary filing on June 2 Mr. Walker essentially said “never mind.” He asked the court to dismiss CEI’s motion for sanctions and fees, writing that the think tank had “wasted enough of [his office’s] and the Court’s limited time and resources with its frivolous Anti-SLAPP motion.”

So having violated CEI’s First Amendment rights, subjected the group to public abuse and legal costs, and threatened its donors, Mr. Walker blames CEI for burdening the courts.

Mr. Schneiderman is also on defense for his subpoena barrage and claim that Exxon is guilty of fraud on grounds that it supposedly hid the truth about global warming from the public. The AG felt compelled to devote an entire speech at a legal conference to justify his actions. He accused Exxon and outside groups of engaging in “First Amendment opportunism,” which he said was a “dangerous new threat” to the state’s ability to protect its citizens. So exercising free speech to question government officials who threaten free speech is a threat to free speech.

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Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Al Shelton

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    If Trump gets in, he should get this whole gang on the carpet and make them prove that CO2 is causing global warming.
    If they are unable to provide empirical proof then they should be forced to step down and
    possibly charged with fraud. IMO

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    This clique of AG witch hunters opened a door to bully and tarnish the name of a company that produces and sells legal products used willingly by people to improve their lives . This clique ,having pulled their PR stunt without the legislative authority of the elected officials of States they represent are now crawling back into their holes but should be dragged out and exposed for the lobbyist’s
    they are .

    No company or person should be gang banged by such cowards .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    Look at the picture
    Notice how so

    Arrogant and Honorable Gore ties to be

    Although this is a total fraudulent sham by they intend to enrich themselves.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    AG’s are supposed to know the law and be honest . “AG’s United For Clean Power ‘ .
    Did they register as lobbyist’s ? If so where ?
    Did they seek and receive approval from their respective State elected officials to act as lobbyist’s ? If not why not ?

    They represent themselves and not all AG’s . In fact 13other State AG’s just signed a letter expressing concern about what the lobbyist AG’s have done .
    Shouldn’t the sign they stood behind have read Some AG’s plus AL Gore if they were being transparent and honest ?
    Was their intent to mislead and confuse the public into thinking they spoke for all State AG’s ?
    How much money from their individual States has been given to companies in the industry they say they are “for ” ? How much of that money has been lost with the growing number of “clean power ” bankruptcies ? Have they personally invested in any of those “clean power ” companies they lobby for while being paid by tax payers ?

    Who orchestrated the formation of their lobby group and were all AG’s asked to join or just hand picked ones ? The majority of State AG’s are not identified as part of the “AG’s for Clean Power ” lobby group . Why not ?

    Who funds the travel cost of AG’s going to press conferences to lobby for the “Clean Power ” industry ?

    What other lobby activities are the AG’s engaged in ?

    Reply

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