Texas AG weighs in on Global Warming case

Fuel Fix:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is attempting to block the U.S. Virgin Islands from investigating whether Exxon Mobil committed fraud in past statements on climate change.

In a filing in Tarrant County Monday, Paxton and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange defended Irving-based Exxon Mobil as the victim of an illegal investigation that had violated the company’s constitutional rights.

“It’s a fishing expedition of the worst kind, and represents an effort to punish Exxon for daring to hold an opinion on climate change that differs from that of radical environmentalists,” Paxton said in a statement.

In March, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker sent Exxon a subpoena requesting correspondence and internal research related to the company’s public position on climate change, joining attorneys general in New York and California that have also made public their inquiry into Exxon.

The investigation of one of the world’s largest oil companies attempts to pin down whether Exxon’s public statements and filings on climate change are at odds with what executives and researchers were saying internally.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is seeking damages against the Virgin Island's AG for violation of the SLAPP Act:
An attorney representing a group of AGs, including Walker, in their Exxon probe replied on Friday, telling CEI that it is abandoning its subpoena but reserving the right to restart the effort at any point in the future.In response, Grossman and his BakerHostetler colleague David Rivkin filed a motion to vacate the subpoena entirely. They are also asking the court to reimburse CEI for its legal fees and levy additional penalties on Walker’s office as a means of discouraging abuses of the D.C. legal system.

Walker’s “bad faith purpose in wielding this Court’s power to subpoena … warrants sanctions,” the attorneys wrote in a Monday motion. “Sanctions are necessary here ‘to punish abuses of the judicial process and to deter future abuses,’” they wrote, quoting a prior case involving D.C.’s anti-SLAPP statute.

The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” and refers to efforts to shut down an opposing party’s speech or political advocacy through frivolous lawsuits.

The anti-SLAPP statute in D.C. allows challenges to lawsuits that target speech or actions made “in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of public interest.”
I think the Climate Change suit is also vulnerable on other grounds since the proponents of the theory are unable to identify which of their assumptions is invalid and causing their projections of future warming to be wildly inaccurate.

The overreach, in this case, should doom it and become another black mark against the proponents of the theory.


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