Washington’s attorney general refuses to comply with congressional panel inquiry

fergusonWashington state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) has a message for U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R): bugger off. At least when it comes to his state and its investigation of ExxonMobil over charges it tried to hide global warming from the public. Smith, who is the chairman of the House Science Committee, recently sent letters to the 17 U.S. Attorneys General (AGs) pursuing ExxonMobil under the RICO statute. Smith has asked for any communications with green groups, the EPA, or each other as it relates to the oil giant’s so-called climate change denial.

Smith asked that any communications regarding the oil giant’s investigation be sent to his committee. Ferguson fired off a letter to Rep. Smith denying his panel’s inquiry into potential communications he may have had with third-party entities about ExxonMobil’s so-called denial of climate change.

Smith believes that certain AGs are working in concert with Al Gore, green activists, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to demonize ExxonMobil on the public stage over claims they knew that carbon dioxide emissions may cause climate change. Smith thinks the AGs’ investigation, being spearheaded by New York’s AG Eric Schneiderman, is akin to a witch hunt designed to squelch free speech rights and impede an individual or group’s right to disagree with the Obama administration. Emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show that after government officials met with leading environmental activist groups, they determined that the RICO statute could be used as a weapon against the oil giant.

Participants gathered Jan. 8 at the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) headquarters, a left-wing foundation, to discuss using the RICO statute to silence climate change skeptics. According to a copy of the meeting agenda, the RFF, Greenpeace, and other environmental groups discussed ways to “delegitimize [ExxonMobil] as a political actor, force officials to disassociate themselves from Exxon, and drive divestment from Exxon.”

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