Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has looped in another victim in her climate change fraud investigation.
Ironically, Alex Epstein, one of the recent individuals called upon in the investigation has made his climate change views perfectly clear in his 2014 book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” Nonetheless, he has been named in a subpoena by Healey’s office where it demands 40 years of correspondence between ExxonMobil and universities and free market groups.
ExxonMobil was quick to respond to the subpoena.
“Attorney General Healey is abusing the power of government to silence a speaker she disfavors,” said the motion.
Then Healey countered the motion by accusing Exxon of engaging in “an unprecedented effort to limit the ability of state attorneys general to investigate fraud and unfair business practices and to protect Massachusetts consumers, investors and the public.”
Although Exxon doesn’t do business in the state of Massachusetts, Healey spokeswoman Cyndi Roy Gonzalez referred to the motion as “a clear attempt to delay and distract from the real issues.”
“Our investigation is based, not on speculation, but on inconsistencies about climate change in Exxon documents which have been made public,” said Gonzalez. “The First Amendment does not protect false and misleading statements in the marketplace.”
Since late March, attorney general Healey has made it her mission to use the system to pursue “fraud” allegations against fossil fuel companies and their supporters engaged in climate “denial,” according to The Washington Times.
Now she is going after Exxon.
“Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be held accountable,” said Healey. “That’s why I too have joined in investigating the practices of ExxonMobil. We can all see today the troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public.”
Exxon and the institutes named in the subpoena see this as a threat to freedom speech and civil liberties as Healey abuses her power.
“The great irony here is that we’ve acknowledged the risks of climate change for more than a decade, have supported a carbon tax as the better policy option and spent more than $7 billion on research and technologies to reduce emissions,” said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers. “It should make people question what this is really all about.”
So what is the real agenda of this “investigation?”
According to Exxon the mission by both the democratic attorneys general and climate change advocates “unmask the investigation launched by the Massachusetts Attorney General for what it is: a pretextual use of law enforcement power to deter ExxonMobil from participating in ongoing public deliberations about climate change and to fish through decades of ExxonMobil’s documents in the hope of finding some ammunition to enhance the Massachusetts Attorney General’s position in the policy debate concerning how to respond to climate change.”
Editor’s note: This is a huge abuse of power by Healey. They will cost ExxonMobil and the people of Massachusetts millions of dollars in legal fees and accomplish nothing.