More pushback: House science committee issues subpoenas for #ExxonKnew Attorney Generals, Union of Concerned Scientists

Earlier WUWT covered the closure of Britain’s Dept. of Energy and Climate Change, and yesterday we covered the shameless $2 million “please send money” ploy from UCS to bolster their coffers due to “attacks” from the House Science Committee. I’ve gone news for you clowns, a subpoena isn’t an “attack”, it is democracy with due process.


house-science-comm-logo

Smith Subpoenas MA, NY Attorneys General, Environmental Groups

WASHINGTON –  Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued subpoenas to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and eight environmental organizations to obtain documents related to coordinated efforts to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, scientists and scholars of their First Amendment rights.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The attorneys general have appointed themselves to decide what is valid and what is invalid regarding climate change. The attorneys general are pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech.

“The Committee has a responsibility to protect First Amendment rights of companies, academic institutions, scientists, and nonprofit organizations. That is why the Committee is obligated to ask for information from the attorneys general and others.

“Unfortunately, the attorneys general have refused to give the committee the information to which it is entitled. What are they hiding? And why?”

Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas): “Since when did it become a crime to express or hold an opinion?  The difference of opinions is what makes our country so strong and unique. It’s this freedom without censorship or restraint that helped build our country. However, this posse of attorneys general believe that those whose opinion, or scientific research, conflicts with the alleged consensus view on climate change should be the subject of investigation and prosecution by government officials – talk about a chilling effect on free speech.”

Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas): “Since March, these attorneys general have attempted to use questionable legal tactics to force the production of documents and communications from a broad group of scientists, companies, and non-profit organizations.  These actions are an attempt to chill the scientific research of those who do not support the attorneys’ general and environmental groups’ political positions.

“These actions amount to a political attack rather than a serious inquiry based on the law.  Today’s action by the Science Committee and Chairman Smith sustains the commitment to protect the First Amendment rights of the individuals and groups targeted by the attorneys general and environmental activists.”

Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.): “Instead of pursuing real threats to America, these attorneys general are going down a path of partisan politics and attacking people who disagree with their conclusions about climate change.  The administration has attempted to avoid all debate on climate change by circumventing Congress and signing international agreements without the consent of the Senate, and it now appears that Democratic attorneys general are following the president’s lead.

“If the debate on climate change is settled, the environmental activists and state attorneys general should have no problem convincing the American public with their own evidence and arguments.  Why go to such great lengths to squash differing opinions and anyone who questions their conclusions? These individuals, scientists, and organizations have the right to conduct research, form their own opinions, and voice those opinions.”

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio): “Instead of upholding the constitution, protecting citizens, and putting real criminal behind bars, these attorneys general are using taxpayer dollars to manufacture charges to send a political message.  This demonstrates a clear deviation from the legal duties of an attorney general and the possible abuse of discretionary judgement. It is not the job of the attorneys general to decide what science should be conducted, and their actions indicate their intent is to silence certain voices.”

Chairman Smith followed up the subpoenas with a press conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon.

On July 6, Chairman Smith sent letters to the individuals and organizations subpoenaed today reiterating his May 18 and June 20 requests for documents and communications, setting a deadline for those documents as July 13 (today) at 12:00 p.m., and threatening the use of compulsory process pending their compliance with the requests. The attorneys general and environmental groups have refused to comply with the committee’s investigation at every step.


Here’s the whining via email today from UCS, with all the donation links disabled:

UCS Subpoenaed—Help Us Stand with Science

Dear UCS supporter,

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has a history of attacking climate scientists—and now he’s coming after UCS with a congressional subpoena. He wants to silence our efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for deceiving the public and shareholders about the reality and risks of climate change. We will continue to speak out against corporate deception, and provide law enforcement with the scientific expertise and public support they need to hold ExxonMobil accountable.

But we can’t do this alone. Will you stand with us?

Please join the open statement from concerned citizens who oppose Chairman Smith’s attempts to silence free speech and support efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its climate deception.

Take Action

You can also read more about our response to the subpoena here.

Sincerely,

Kathryn Mulvey

Kathryn Mulvey

Climate Accountability Campaign Manager

Climate and Energy Program

Union of Concerned Scientists

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I like, and endorse, the pot, but this does verge on calling the kettle black.

Kevin Kilty

I’m not sure I understand your point. Politics is full of tit for tat, but the Attorneys General are using the full coercive power of government to go after a very broad category of citizens here on dubious cause. Do you have in mind a specific instance of pot playing the role of kettle?

Duster

…protect First Amendment rights of companies, academic institutions, scientists, and nonprofit organizations.
The protection offered to “companies, academic institutions,… and nonprofit organizations” comes to mind. This has the curious effect of elevating organizations, parties, etc. to the same status as individuals. Absurdly they have become people and “participate” in democracy. “Scientists” are the only nominal “individuals” in that list and even there the word is a collective label. The schism within science over climate (among other topics) has already lead to the effect loss of First Amendment rights for individual scientists who dissent from the views of whatever lot controls the means of communication (peer reviewed journals). Both the putative left and the putative right have been complicit in “extending” the rights of the individual to collective entities for economic and or political purposes. Jefferson would groan. And as a footnote, “collective” is a good translation for agricultural organizations in the old USSR.

commieBob

Duster says: July 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm
… This has the curious effect of elevating organizations, parties, etc. to the same status as individuals.

That horse left the barn a long time ago. Corporations have been treated as persons for more than a hundred years. corporate personhood A recent noteworthy case is Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

CB, nice comment. Citizens United is a case everyone should read. Especially Obummer, who disrespected SCOTUS at a SOTU speech over the decision.

Duster

Yep, but that doesn’t mean the decision makes more sense now than it did at the time.

Grey Lensman

Sigh, ” Attorneys General”” should be Attorney Generals

commieBob

Grey Lensman says: July 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm
Sigh, ” Attorneys General”” should be Attorney Generals

That might be true if you are British and use a hyphen. ie. Attorney-Generals

In American English, attorneys general is the correct plural form. The British prefer attorney-generals (the Brits have long hyphenated the phrase).
Generally, a compound noun made up of a noun and a postpositive adjective (one that follows its noun) is pluralized by adding -s to the noun, as with heirs apparent and causes of action. But we add -s at the end of closed compounds, as with all words ending in -ful {spoonfuls, handfuls}. link

In the words of Buttercup: “hail men-o’-war’s men”

TRM

The Citizen’s United ruling reminded of a joke that “I’ll know corporations are people when I see Texas execute one!”.

Jean Paul Zodeaux

Duster,
I suspect your confusion over Citizens United and corporate personhood are due to a misconception that rights were conferred to the people via constitutional amendments. If I am mischaracterizing your view of rights I apologize, but it is often this type of thinking that then makes it difficult to understand why people in groups still have many of the same rights they do as individuals.
The Bill of Rights, Duster, is textually an express prohibition on certain government actions. The First Amendment begins “Congress shall make no…”. There is nothing in the language of the First Amendment that can be construed as a grant of right, only prohibitive language forbidding Congress certain legislative power. The First Amendment does not bother to explain who benefits from this prohibition on Congress, only that Congress can’t do it, and in the case of Citizens United that would be chilling speech. The First Amendment forbids that.

Mr Green Genes

commieBob
“That might be true if you are British and use a hyphen. ie. Attorney-Generals”
No we don’t. Apart from anything else, we only have one (Jeremy Wright, QC MP) so the point is moot. However, the link you post also applies in English English. The noun is Attorney and if there is more than one, add an ‘s’ to the noun not the adjective, wherever it sits.
Similarly, for example, where there is a collection of military hearings, we call them Courts Martial.

Streetcred

I’m with CB on this … so what do you make of ‘bodies corporate’, ‘body corporates’?
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/body-corporate

Farmer Ted.

In the days when we had rules for English language, Attorneys General was correct.
These days, grammar has been deliberately discarded, and I can see no other reason for this than a plan by people in authority to create confusion.

george e. smith

Well they don’t call it dope for no reason.
g

Kevin Kilty

UCS. Does it have anything to do with scientists?

Louis

UCS has to do with concerned scientists. Usually, when someone is “concerned,” it involves money or politics (or both).

Marcus

..LOL..I just knew this was going to come back and bite them in the ass !

Owen in GA

I am not sure it has bit them. At this point they will likely ignore the documents and see if congress has the fortitude to do a direct prosecution without the Department of Justice’s involvement. If they refer the contempt to Justice, all the AGs will get is a pat on the back.

Jim Watson

The liberals have become everything they say they hate.

MarkW

When you want to know what a liberal is planning on doing, just check what he is accusing others of.

afonzarelli

Yes, Mark… Alinsky 101

I like to say that those that preach tolerance are the most intolerant people of all. Leftists are the biggest hypocrites. They tell you to accept all people; yet if you dare say you are against gay or trans-gender people they make sure you are blacklisted. They tell you to accept refugees from the Middle East and Mexico; yet as soon as these “refugees” are settled in their neighborhood, they suddenly do not accept them. They say they are being silenced; yet they endorse any action to silence anybody who dares disagrees with them on anything. They are loud and vocal and have learned through years of experience how to be most effective at getting their way. The fact that almost all of the media agrees with them and so happily puts them on camera at every opportunity is just an extra benefit to them.
A leftist tends to have the attitude “agree with me, or else I will make you life miserable”.

Justthinkin

” I’ve gone news for you clowns, a subpoena isn’t an “attack”, it is democracy with due process.”
Oppppppssss. Shouldn’t that be I’ve GOT news.
Sorry to be picky….not enough caffeine yet.

george e. smith

Feel free to substitute your own word to suit your taste. The rest of us already did that and got the message.
g

And rather love the phrase “…news for you clowns, a subpoena isn’t an “attack”, it is democracy with due process.”
Wahoo!
Ride em Lamar!
Sink those spurs in and drag them to the scales of Justice!

Talk about newspeak. These are not “scientists” with UCS – they are Big Brother speech writers!

Naah–The Union of Concerned Scientists is just competing with the Democratic Peoples Repubic of Korea for the most Orwellian title.

george e. smith

Talk about a self aggrandizing bunch of flakes.
I’ve met quite a few scientists of almost every shingle there is.
I have NEVER met any scientist who wasn’t concerned about the effects of science and technology on the livable conditions on earth. Some of them work actively to ameliorate negative consequences; and some are a bit more passive, and try to just not mess things up too badly while seeking either knowledge or better gizmos for peoples better lives.
The bigger one’s impact on the whole of society, the more the potential liabilities of major screw-ups can be, so that is a natural concern of big this and big that.
So they always have a vested interest in learning and understanding the science that governs the medium in which they run their business, which is why they spend a good amount of money doing their own research on that or if you like, paying others to research it for them. I don’t do that sort of research as a career, which is why they don’t pay me to do that for them.
I now a chap who is a meteorologist; a professional one. No he does not work for a radio station or a TV station dishing out a 45 second scare burst on the evening news. He studies global climate and weather. Why does he do that ??
Well he works for a company that does that sort of thing. That company has customers who REALLY want to know what is actually going on with such things, and what may happen in the near to mid future.
They have big bucks to lay down on guessing correctly when and what fat is about to hit the shin, so they really want to know what is real, and they don’t give a hoot about what is politically correct.
So my friend has to know Sh** from shinola and he has to get it right or he would get fired.
Big oil, and big ag, and big pharma and all the rest of them also have big bucks riding on the outcome of weather and climate and other kinds of research because it affects their bottom line and that of their customers, and their employees and of their owners (share holders), and by inference, it also affects the communities in which they operate.
They also want to get it right; shorn of faux agendas (or agendi if you like.
The UCS is nothing but an agendum looking for sponsorship; largely because they are among the acute unemployable branch of “scientists”.
G

tom

North Korea surrendered to Democrat’s of the USA in the competition for most Orwellian title long ago.

Mjw

I signed my wife up as a member of the Union without her knowledge and the extent of her scientific expertise is limited to using the toaster and washing machine.

Well, that is a lot more qualified than many of the elitist class.

philincalifornia

Yeah, but I bet you can seriously fck up a hard drive in a toaster

u.k(us)

So, ya wanna play ??
Just say go.

Roger Bournival

and yesterday we covered the shameless $2 million “please send money” ploy from UCS to bolster their coffers due to “attacks” from the House Science Committee.
Help – I’m being repressed!

Owen in GA

Or here is it from “the Holy Grail”
https://youtu.be/dOOTKA0aGI0

Evan Jones

My mother, who was an old-time communist, suffering from emphysema, said she would have to stop watching at that point because she was getting short of breath. Then half staggered out of the room shaking with laughter.

Bruce Cobb

When push comes to shove, the Climate Bullies are really just whiny cowardly crybabies.

Moa

“When push comes to shove, the Climate Bullies are really just whiny cowardly crybabies.”
Hence the apt term used by Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson, “crybullies”.

kim

I like to remind this sort that dawn is a trigger warning.
============

kim

The March of Time just one damn microaggression after another. Sysiphean, without even respite stumbling down the hill.
===========

Evan Jones

I think I feel a microvictimization coming on.

Nobody cries as pathetically as a bully.
Me and my many siblings made a point to gang up on any bully who had picked on one of us.
They cry, so tearily. Until you let them go, then threats upon running away, but empty threats only. We tell them to “spread the word.”
They learn.

Tom O

I quote –
“Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas): “Since when did it become a crime to express or hold an opinion? ”
Ask the couple that chose to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay marriage, as, in essence, that is exactly what their refusal amounts to expressing or holding an opinion.
As for the UCS, anyone can donate and become a member, so it needs to change its name from Union of Concerned Scientists to the Union of Concerned People, some of which may or may not be scientists.

TonyL

“Union of Concerned People”
Well, I suppose Kenji is a person, of sorts. Certainly, he is a member of the family.

Luke 6:31
Do to others as you would have them do to you.

george e. smith

That doesn’t sound like the King James version to me. Modern revisionists.
g

graphicconception

Quite right: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
You can’t beat the good stuff!

afonzarelli

“Do unto others, before they do YOU”
Benny Hill ☺

Smith was polite and reasonable with his first letter. He warned them with his second, setting out in footnotes the legal precedents his committee was relying on. Did the legal homework before firing subpoenas.
He also has in his hip pocket John Christy’s written February testimony showing the consensus is wrong because the CMIP5 models are wrong. Which means contrary skepical research and conclusions are scientifically justified, and attempts to supress it are not. Valid scientific basis for the subpoenas.
Christy’s testimony by itself is also a full rebuttal to Oreskes’ Merchants of Doubt theory, upon which the AG’s relied. This addresses Schneiderman’s PR rationale the first Amendment does not cover fraud. It also fully, factually, (and it now appears with probable legal input from the committee) addresses several potential collateral issues related to these subpoenas. Such as Schmidt/Mann’s factually inaccurate video attack (professionally produced by YaleClimateConnections.org) on the reliability of the satellite temperature records used to disprove CMIP5 and by inference IPCC AR5. All skeptics should have a well thumbed copy of this newest testimony. Google Christy testimony feb 2016. The first link is directly to the testimony archived at docs.house.gov.
It is a pleasure to watch Rep. Smith’s carefully thought out counter attack unfold on the ‘Green AG’s and their NGO enablers. My guess is contempt of congress is coming, and that rather than refer to DoJ ( an exercise in futility) Smith plans the congressional route of direct criminal enforcement to gain maximum timely PR with an election coming. (Wikipedia actually has a good article on this if you don’t want to wade through legal briefs from Congressional Research Service.)

Mark from the Midwest

Doesn’t this also leave Shelly White-wash open to censure, for actions that bring the “body into disrepute.”?

Yes, but I think it is the Senate that would have to take that action. IIRC each chamber polices its own. But Smith could probably have a little conference with Senator Cruz, before who’s subcommittee Christy testified Nov 2015.

A footnote on congressional subpoenas and contempt. There are three requirements for a ‘legally sufficient’ (that is valid and enforceable) congressional subpoena. These were set forth by SCOTUS in Wilkerson v. US, 365US399 (1961):
1. The subject matter must be within the committee’s official congressional remit. Rep. Smith has since 2014 chaired the House oversight Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. His letters and the subpoena make clear this investigation is about climate science. That is his purview because the committee oversight expressly includes NOAA and NASA.
2. The investigation must have a valid legislative purpose (but does not have to involve specific pending legislation). There are two independent test threads here. A. Supression of independent scientific endeavor. Smith’s committee, for example, oversees the NSF budget which funds many independent (non-governmental) climate research proposals, for example those of RICO20 Shukla. Suppression of science means NSF is hindered in potentially funding proposed legitimate skeptical research. B. Violation of first amendment scientific speech civil rights, a matter of criminal 18USC241 and civil 42USC1983. This is the explicit tack taken in his second letter. Simpler for PR purposes. The Merchants of Doubt counter by Schneiderman that the first amendment does not protect deceit and deception was already a matter of public record in Schneiderman’s PR, so Smith knew Schneiderman would use that counter to claim the congressional subpoena is wrong because Schneiderman has a legitimate investigation under New York’s 1921 Martin Act. Hence he shot that counter down in advance with the Christy testimony.
3. The specific subpoena subject matter must be pertinent to the valid investigation. Correspondence between AGs and NGOs including USC about the motivation for AG subpoenas under the provably false merchants of doubt theory is very pertinent to showing a conspiracy between them to violate first amendment scientific speech rights.
Smith has architected this well. He has the 2014 Congressional Research Service legal opinion on congressional contempt and procedural remedies. He has the 1961 SCOTUS opinion for subpoena validity. His second round of letters set forth detailed legal reasons for the request’s legitimacy. The second letter due date for voluntary compliance was July 13. The supoenas went out today, July 14. Quite the spectacle when he sends the House Sargent at Arms to Cambridge to arrest the head of UCS for trial in front of Congress for contempt because UCS did not comply with yhe subpoena–with well precedented penalties of fines (usually $1000/day noncompliant) and prison (usually one year in federal prison, shortened by subsequent compliance). I don’t see how the AGs and NGOs have any wiggle room, although they will sure try to wiggle hard.
A conspiracy to use state AGs to shut down skeptics using Merchant of Doubt tactics first plotted by NGOs and individuals like Naomi Oreskes at the 2012 Scripps Climate Accountability Workshop organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (Peter Frumhoff, who was involved in the AG meetings the day of their press conference), chaired by Naomi Oreskes. For those interested, the 36 page summary of that odious workshop is available on line for Smith to use as an investigation roadmap. Just google scripps la jolla climate conference. Its the fifth hit. I have archived it just in case it vanishes now. Its not to smart to put your conspiracy plan into the public domain years before it comes to fruition.
Especially when there is no meaningful warming this century, there is large model/observation discrepancy concerning warming (2.5-3x) and sensitivity (2x), SLR is not accelerating, the planet is greening, polar bears are thriving, and renewable texhnologies are failing technically (Ivanpah), economically (wind) and at high grid penetrations (UK reliability). All of which says there is much legitimate doubt about the warmunist consensus–unlike the tobacco litigation.
Popcorn futures keep rising.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

ristvan:
It looks like you’ve called this one correctly from day one. I’d order popcorn, but Union of Concerned Scientists have warned that the butter on it will give me heart disease, so I’ll just lay in a stock of good single-malt. Hell, if this results in some AGs getting disbarred, I’ll celebrate with a good cigar.

AW I used to smoke cigars. Been off them for 30 years. See comment below. My devious legal mind just came up with a really nifty gambit, which may be Lamar Smiths real strategy. In which case,,yhe AG’s are gonna get blind sided. Especially if his staff is working with Cruz’ staff. I would expect they are.

catcracking

Ristvan
Thanks for the comprehensive explanation.
Unfortunately the MSM don’t care one whit about facts and law so it will be spun another way.

TA

“My guess is contempt of congress is coming, and that rather than refer to DoJ ( an exercise in futility)”
The DOJ may be under new leadership in about six months. I have a feeling they are going to be really busy.
Thanks for detailing the case for us, ristvan.

Perhaps include a copy of ‘Christy’s testimony’ in WUWT’s reference pages?

Alan Robertson

“rather than refer to DoJ ( an exercise in futility)”
…………..
That’s a mouthful.

rogerknights

They should change “The Union” to “The Onion”

george e. smith

Easier to peel the crap back layer by layer.
g

Steve in SC

Or as the AGs and UCS operating philosophy “Do unto others, then cut out! – Maynard G. Krebs”

Another Scott

I hope the committee emphasizes that these attorney generals and scientists are pushing political views rather than scientific views. Anything to help separate climate science from political science would be nice….

True, but more powerful is that they did so illegally.

Kevin

Orwell wrote it in ‘1984’; “When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. … If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” These AGs obviously took ‘1984’ as an instruction manual, instead of a warning.

John in L du B

“Unfortunately, the attorneys general have refused to give the committee the information to which it is entitled. What are they hiding? And why?”
Obviously a rhetorical question. Everyone knows exactly what they have to hide, mainly their own racketeering in collusion with Big Green. Note that Resolute Forest products filed a liable suit against Greenpeace Canada Three years ago in the Ontario Superior Court that is still ongoing seeking damages of $5-million, as well as punitive damages of $2-million, plus costs, against the group and two of its activists for an allegedly false and misleading report about the company’s logging practices in Ontario and Quebec. Now on June 1st they have filed a suit in Georgia against Greenpeace Canada and the international organization alleging fraud and racketeering. How many Democrats could be named when discovery is filed? Or is it that in US courts you can avoid discovery forever like Michael Mann?
Americans, note the number of Democrats here supporting the right for free speech and expression of opinion for scientists. Remember when you vote in November.

John in L du B

Thanks clipe. The “John and Jane Does that may be named in discovery” bit is interesting. Any hedge fund managers among them? Any AGs?

ralfellis

Perhaps the Attorneys General would like to review and critique my new paper on ice age temperature modulation. I am sure they are fully qualified to do so. It would be a pleasure to field their questions.
And I would be grateful if they can find any bank transfers from Exxon, because try as I might I have never found any.
Ralph

kim

Heh, ralf, it’s always been all about the albedo.
========

kim

We’re substituting the rule of lawyers for the rule of law.
==========

Curious George

Right on!

Timo Soren

They have no respect for the government that protects them and of which they are part. They should be put in jail.

Hot under the collar

“Climate Accountability Campaign Manager
Climate and Energy Program
Union of Concerned Scientists”
Another made up title. Her name and title badge is probably so long she can’t get through the doorway!

3x2

I have worked for more than a decade (or two) to see these people finally hauled before the public and recognised for what they are.
As (US) Americans, you might not appreciate just how much support you have in The UK.
No taxation without representation was the (civil war) battle cry of Britain one hundred years before anyone else on Earth even thought about it. Chopping off heads was the deal back then, hauling them before a committee of representatives is the deal now.
There are no other representatives on Earth I watch so closely as those in The US.
OK, maybe my own but …

Janus100

Guys hang on in there. The mother of all battles is still only coming
The enemy will not give up without a heavy fight
We in Canada right now are in siege but hopefully our time will come at the next federal election.
I keep my old arthritic fingers crossed that Trump wins. That would be a great boost for us as was the Brexit.
Good news is coming even from Germany recently as well.
I am cautiously optimistic here, but no I ever to celebrate yet.

As predicted above in my comment and detailed footnote comment (which is still in moderation because am used legally precise terminology), spokespersons for both the NY and Mass AGs as well as UCS have used the ‘Merchants of Doubt’ is a legitimate investigation defense to argue the congressional subpoenas are an invalid interference in states rights.
This has led to a new thought on legal tactics and Lamar Smith’s overall strategy, which becomes a checkmate of sorts. This presumes yhe committe’s staff thought this thru since Schneiderman gave warning, and is playing a sophisticated legal chess game.
The perps cannot just ignore these subpoenas. That is contempt of congress. They will have to go to federal courts to try to get them quashed as invalid. As both CEI and Exxon already successfully did with the USVI versions of this assult on the opposite side of this dogfight. That means hearings before federal judges (these are federal subpoenas) in public, on the record, with pleadings and stipulated facts. Armed with the Scripps meeting minutes, armed with Christy’s testimony (and hopefully a lot more fact stuff if his staff is reading the blogs like CE, WUWT, RealScience, and PolarBearScience–like Cruz staff obviously is), then Smith can shoot the AG and NGO investigation cover down as politically motivated phony investigations using (probably already written) pleadings of fact that set out the entire skeptical thesis. The Mass AG is particulary vulnerable because she cannot rely on NYs Martin Act. So is UCS. So is 350.org and the other NGOs. A failure to quash would be a legal disaster for any of the subpoenaed. And the facts are definitely not in their favor about Exxon surpressing truth about climate change, since the truth is none of the consensus predictions have come true. They will have to lawyer up big time to try to prevent this inevitable failure, and that definitely puts the financial screws on, especially for NGOs.
The chess gambit is probably the consequences of attempts to quash, rather than ignore and face contempt of congress judged by congress. Brilliant maneuver.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the legitimacy of the Congressional subpoena does not depend upon the (il)legitimacy of the AG investigations.

Gunga Din

Kathryn Mulvey
Climate Accountability Campaign Manager
Climate and Energy Program
Union of Concerned Scientists

So are going to bring an FOIA request or RICO charge against Mother Nature?

“She” has a way of biting back.
(Perfectly “natural”, of course.)

kim

Attribution, she’s a bitch;
Don’t know how, just scratch that itch.
Puff, the Magic Climate
Lived by the CO2.
Nature turned and bit him, someplace rich.
=====================

Reminds me of the opening lines of Stephen King’s novel, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
“The world has teeth and it can bite you any time it wants.”

Dave N

Pedantry alert: It’s “Attorneys General”, not “Attorney Generals”. See Lamar Smith’s headline.

Grey Lensman

Nope its English, Attorney Generals is the plural. Simple.

Hugs

Well Webster says either or. Which of course, is not the last word on the issue.

Smokey (Can't do a thing about wildfires)

Sorry, Grey, it IS simple, and because of that I wonder why people such as yourself continually insist on doing it incorrectly.
#1) Your statement should read in part “It’s English,” where “it’s” is the contraction of “it is” using an apostrophe; “its” is the possessive form of “it,” a la “his, hers, its.”
#2) In answer to your assertion, I present you with “courts martial,” “mothers-in-law,” “ladies in waiting,” “runs batted in,” “sergeants major,” “lions rampant,” and yes, “attorneys general” as valid modern English examples of the |plural noun + adjective| form left over from the large amount of French subsumed by our wonderfully mongrel tongue over the centuries. In terms of the rationale, they are not “officers of the rank of general,” who happen to practice law; they are “attorneys” who generally (i.e., “broadly”) investigate & prosecute the law as needed per their office’s jurisdiction.
Since both the form and the rationale seem quite easy to follow, “Attorney Generals” seems in turn to be a deliberately ignorant affectation, rather than an uninformed one.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist level 7

Dave N is correct. See also Inspector General, Surgeon General and Court Martial. If you have been married multiple times do you refer to the maternal parents of your collective spouses as your “Mother in laws” or your “Mothers in law”? (I do not personally have occasion to use this construct).
Some people regard “Attorneys General” as awkward, but it is correct for American english. Even more awkward, the possessive of Attorney General is “Attorney’s General”. Even lawyers avoid this one.
In cases like this we need to bring back matching case endings for nouns and adjectives, like the Latin genitive case. That way the plural would be “Attorneys Generals” the singular possessive would be “Attorney’s General’s” and the plural possessive would be “Attorneys’ Generals’ “. Perfectly logical and easy to remember.
f u cn rd ths, y shd i lrn 2 spl?

Gunga Din

The English language has “devolved” over time. When improper or just plain sloppy usage becomes common usage for a long enough time, it becomes the new proper usage. Often at the cost of precision.
For example:
Singular and plural personal pronouns, subject and object.
First person. Singular, “I” and “me”. Plural, “we” and “us”.
Second person. Singular, “you” and “you”. Plural, “you” and “you”.
There was a time when second person was more precise.
Second person. Singular, “thee” and “thou”. Plural, “ye” and “you”.
(Do ya’ll see what I mean? 😎

Gunga Din

OOPS!
I got my second person singulars backward.
(It should be obvious whether it was the old or new usage.)

R.S.Brown

The Democrat state AGs and the eco-maniacal NGOs will have a whole lot of networking
to do at the National Convention in Philadelphia in a couple of weeks.
Those Convention side meetings won’t have minutes or be reported on by the main
stream media.
Hot time in the City !!

Barbara

How many of the 20 senators who earlier this week took part in bashing those who were affected by the AGs subpoenas are up for re-election this November?

Barbara

United states Senate Periodical Press Gallery
Senators Up for Re-Election in 2016
Has lists of Democrats and Republican Senators up for re-election in 2016.
Some are retiring.
http://www.periodicalpress.senate.gov/reelection-2016

Barbara

The Washington Free Beacon, July 11, 2016
‘Dems assign Conservative Groups to Attack on Senate Floor’
Scroll down to the tentative schedule for Monday and Tuesday.
http://www.freebeacon.com/politics/dems-assigned-groups-to-attack-on-senate-floor

tmitsss

Regarding the comment above about popcorn. The original controversy was about movie popcorn flavored with coconut oil. Now every store promotes coconut oil as health food.

The controversy was about palm oil used in microwavable popcorn bags, not coconut oil.
No! They are not the same.

kim

Well, somehow, I thought there was an onus on the extrabuttery flavor. Must I look it up, or, as I prefer, do a taste test?
===============

kim:
I believe the ‘extra buttery’ flavor is an additive to the palm oil. Look for ‘dairy’ or ‘milk’ solids in the ingredients. Real buttered popcorn is much better.
Palm oil, from the kernels of palm nuts, is a highly saturated fat is slow to oxidize and develop an old musty flavor.
Making it ideal for bags of microwave popcorn and surprisingly it is also used to help make coating chocolate. Those sumptuous looking hand dipped chocolates sold in boutique candy stores.
Palm oil is not as fussy about being ‘tempered’ to properly set with a silky sheen.
Coating chocolate without palm oil must be ‘tempered’ by careful heating and cooling or the chocolate coating will not set properly and will definitely not have a silky sheen.
Quite a few tasty snack foods include palm oil now. Melts at a slightly higher temperature than butter, melts at human body temperatures, relatively stable to high heat, slow to go rancid, great carrier for many flavors.
What can go wrong?
Well, early very crude experiments indicate that palm oil isn’t as healthy as other fats; most of which are liquid unsaturated oils.
There is earlier research, but just as crude and not terribly scientific. Information is based on memory, which I think came from the weekly Science News publication.
I do confess a preference for a certain brand of ‘movie’ ‘extra buttery’ popcorn easy microwave popcorn bags.
A little preparation for movie time with my Lady, I will use a plain pot to make popcorn with real butter.

tmitsss
tmitsss

tmitsss:
Neither source is a research report.
Both sources contain amazing amounts of hearsay posed as facts.
Say ‘palm oil’ or ‘coconut fat’ to ordinary people and they automatically assume both are sourced from coconuts. Many of them have the same problem believing that palm trees are coconut trees.
What is missing are the facts. Where is the definitive research? Loose attributions to some obscure title don’t make for firm research.
A) research that proves palm oil is bad?
B) research that proves coconut fat is bad?
Most alleged research just makes assumptions:
1) palm oil = coconut fat
2) coconut fat is saturated = bad for hearts
In spite of all the recent research that debunks most of the alleged ‘heart disease’ studies because those studies are based on bad science; i.e. no controls, selected samples, adjusted or corrected numbers to meet expectations.
Several European countries have already stopped the cholesterol gravy train where doctors focus entirely on cholesterols and prescribe medicines to almost everyone to ‘control’ their cholesterols.
In America, in spite of the knowledge that cholesterols are not the bogeyman, the cholesterol gravy train is very entrenched with careers and massive amounts of cholesterol dependent money.
Irrespective that the human body makes cholesterols for use in the body, irrespective of diet.

kim

Heh, UCS is becoming very useful, the idiots.
===========

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Celo

“He wants to silence our efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for deceiving the public and shareholders about the reality and risks of climate change.”
Deceiving the public? What is Exxon doing, putting in a little extra additive in the tank to make people breathe the air of skepticism?
I want to know how Exxon is ‘deceiving the public’. The public doesn’t look to Exxon for advice on climate change and I can’t recall Exxon telling it’s shareholders that their investments will be worth more and more as the price of oil is artificially driven up by the silly demands of fear-mongers. Oh wait, I think they did. But the Attorneys General claimed the opposite, that the oil is going to be worthless and Exxon told them Exxon is a good investment over the past 40 years, which seems to have been true.
It seems Exxon was correct and the AG’s don’t know what they are talking about. Trying to make Exxon sound like a tobacco company is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever hear proposed by the extreme Greens. Tobacco is positively poisonous and oil is positively beneficial. It is amazing to see the scallywags losing their own plot. If you can’t differentiate between oil and tobacco, how on earth can they differentiate between the influence of ozone, CO2 and water vapour?

They have convinced themselves this is so, with Naomi Oreskes in the lead. And that Exxon is funding all those pesky think tanks like CEI and blogs like WUWT that raise doubts about the 97% consensus. What is really hard to understand is how they think these doubts are somehow false. Lets see, models failed, temperture did not rise this century, no SLR acceleration, lots of Arctic ice, polar nears thriving… Objective true facts raise the doubts. And the first amendment guarantees the right to speak them.

Pamela Gray

To skew and/or over-reach results from Science to further line one’s pockets (aka, further the stated watermelon political agenda) is misleading propaganda, harking back to snake oil days. If efforts have been made to collude with other entities to do such a thing is evident, the gavel should fall and sentencing commence.

TonyN

I thinnk Anthony ought to qualify for the post of:
“Climate Accountability Campaign Manager
Climate and Energy Program
Union of Unconcerned Scientists”

Can Kenji nominate Anthony for it?
You know, maybe slipping a note to the committee?

Is Eric Schneiderman the reincarnation of ‘Bull’ Conner? They’re both government officials whose duty is the enforcement of laws. They both want to advance their careers by using the power of government to suppress civil rights. And they’re both Democrats.
The evidence that ExxonMobil knew about Global Warming seems to be from papers that they published. How can publishing a paper be evidence that they were hiding the contents of that paper?

TA

“The evidence that ExxonMobil knew about Global Warming seems to be from papers that they published.”
Exxon didn’t have evidence of anything, just like noone from then to today has any evidence of AGW/CAGW.
What Exxon did was speculate on Global Warming. It’s not a crime to speculate on scientific theories. It’s not a punishable crime to be right or wrong when you are speculating.
Exxon had no concrete AGW/CAGW confirmation facts that it was hiding from the public and shareholders. There are no such facts to hide.
The AG’s are charging Exxon with hiding something that doesn’t exist. I don’t see how they are going to prove that case. The Alarmists have done their best over the years and haven’t proven it yet.

RedBaker

Abolish the departments of: Energy, Education, Labor, Agriculture, HHS, HUD, Export-Import Bank and Transportation. Eliminate the foolish, socialist meddling with local and state responsibilities.

A bit too late maybe, I realize that everybody has left this party. I guess I might soon get the possibility to post this comment to another post, However, I just came across the following section, by Karl Popper, which seems relevant when discussing the intolerance by:
– The Rico 20
– The 20 Attorneys for clean energy
– The 20 US Senators for disapproval of climate science denial
«Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.
We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.»
– Karl Popper; The Open Society and it´s enemies
I´m glad to see that we got Karl Popper on our side.