Democratic lawmakers are doubling down on their investigationsinto those who don’t toe the line on global warming bydemanding records from oil companies they allege are part of aconspiracy “spreading disinformation about climatescience.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained an email from staffersof Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Peter Welch ofVermont. In the email, Lieu and Welch ask other lawmakers to signthe letter demanding records from oil companies they say are“hiding and spreading disinformation to both the public andlawmakers alike concerning the science of climatechange.”
“The American people deserve answers from the fossil fuelcorporations about their actions to massively deceive the public inregards to climate science,” wrote in their pitch toDemocrats.
So far, only 18 out of the 188 Democrats in the House havesigned onto the letter, including Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona andsix others who went after scientists skeptical of man-madeglobal warming earlier this year. Now they are going after oilcompanies that donâ€™t tow the line on globalwarming.
“Given that only a handful of members are willing to puttheir names on this letter, it is clear that this effort is fallingflat on its face,” a former Capitol Hill staffer familiarwith the matter told TheDCNF.
Grijalvaâ€™s attempt to investigate scientistswas met with backlash from those worried it would chill freespeech. He sent aÂ letter to universities asking forrecords regarding scientists skeptical of global warming —the letter has since been taken off the House natural resources committeeminority’s website.
Democrats have increasingly been calling for governmentinvestigations into groups allegedly spreading misinformation aboutglobal warming. At least one Democratic senator has called for the government to prosecute global warming skeptics,comparing their activities to tactics used by the tobaccoindustry.
Democrats have increasingly been calling for governmentinvestigations into groups allegedly spreading misinformation aboutglobal warming. At least one Democratic senator has called for the government to prosecute globalwarming skeptics, comparing their activities to tactics used bythe tobacco industry.
Democratsâ€™ effort to launch a congressionalinvestigation of Exxon comes as world leaders are preparing to meetin Paris for a United Nations climate summit. Countries areexpected to sign onto a successor agreement to the KyotoProtocol.
Exxon opponents hope vilifying the company will help buildpublic support for regulations to curb carbon dioxideemissions.
Exxon Mobil has been the main target of such attacks, andDemocratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and HillaryClinton have backed a federal investigation of thecompany.
“It appears that Exxon knew its product was causing harmto the public, and spent millions of dollars to obfuscate the factsin the public discourse,” Sanders wrote in a letter Attorney General LorettaLynch last month. “The information that has come to lightabout Exxon’s past activities raises potentially seriousconcerns that should be investigated.”
New York’s attorney general has answered the call from environmentalists andpoliticians to prosecute Exxon, demanding the company hand over“extensive financial records, emails and otherdocuments” focusing on “the company’s activitiesdating to the late 1970s,” according to The New YorkTimes.
Democratic AG Eric Schneidermanâ€™sinvestigation comes after The LosAngeles Times and InsideClimate News published articles claimingExxon was funding climate science suggesting fossil fuels weredriving global warming, but lobbied against policies to cut carbondioxide emissions.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a left-wing environmentalgroup, released a report claiming there’s a “coordinated campaign of deception” onclimate science led by “ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips,BP, Shell, Peabody Energy, and other members of the fossil fuelindustry.”
“UCS uncovered many internal company documents confirminga massive coordinated campaign of deception conducted by theindustry to deceive the public of climate science that even theirown scientists confirmed,”Â reads the lettersigned by 18 House Democrats.
Exxon has denied allegations it was deceiving the publicon global warming. For years, the company has backed taxing carbondioxide emissions, and Exxon scientists have published dozens of peer-reviewed studies, meaning theycan be viewed by other scientists and the public.
“What we have understood from the outsetâ€” and something which over-the-top activistsfail to acknowledge — is that climate change is an enormouslycomplicated subject,” Kenneth Cohen, Exxon’s headspokesman wrote in a blog post. “The climate andmankindâ€™s connection to it are among the mostcomplex topics scientists have ever studied, with a seeminglyendless number of variables to consider over an incredibly longtimespan.”
Exxon has also worked with the Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change (IPCC) since its inception in 1988.