Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Exxon has just challenged attempts by Al Gore’s climate witch hunt to “investigate” them, by demanding to know what crime they are supposed to have committed.
Exxon Fires Back at Climate-Change Probe
Argues subpoena represents unwarranted fishing expedition into its records that violates its constitutional rights
Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change, a sign the energy company is gearing up for a drawn-out legal battle with environmentalists and officials on the politically charged issue.
The company filed court papers in Texas seeking to block a subpoena issued in March by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of several government officials pursuing Exxon. Wednesday’s filing argues that the subpoena is an unwarranted fishing expedition into Exxon’s internal records that violates its constitutional rights.
“The chilling effect of this inquiry, which discriminates based on viewpoint to target one side of an ongoing policy debate, strikes at protected speech at the core of the First Amendment,” the filing says.
Exxon also dismisses the notion that there is any suggestion of a crime, saying Attorney General Claude Earl Walker “issued the subpoena without the reasonable suspicion required by law and based on an ulterior motive to silence those who express views on climate change with which they disagree.”
A request for comment to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ attorney general’s office wasn’t immediately returned.
To date, most companies seem to have been happy to simply pay a bit of Danegeld, and get on with business, when unfairly targeted by green campaigners, rather than engage in a costly and potentially damaging PR battle with groups of fanatics who mostly don’t matter in the long run.
But a government backed investigation, with the possible threat of future RICO charges, is far more serious than a simple PR attack on a company’s corporate image. Exxon appears to have courageously decided to stand their ground, to put an end to this nonsense once and for all – a strategy which may lead them to challenge the increasingly shaky scientific basis of the entire climate scare.