Exxon hits back hard at Gore/McKibben inspired attorney general witch hunt

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and a coalition of attorneys general, supported by former Vice President Al Gore, vowed on March 29, 2016, to hold fossil fuel companies accountable if their words and deeds on climate change had crossed into illegality.

We’ve reported on this counter-lawsuit before, but this article in Bloomberg yesterday raises the volume up to 11.

Exxon Sues the Suers in Fierce Climate-Change Case

  •  A ‘conspiracy’ was hatched in La Jolla, Calif., company says
  •  Exxon says the suits are violating its free speech rights

As climate-change lawsuits against the oil industry mount, Exxon Mobil Corp. is taking a bare-knuckle approach rarely seen in legal disputes: It’s going after the lawyers who are suing it.

The company has targeted at least 30 people and organizations, including the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, hitting them with suits, threats of suits or demands for sworn depositions. The company claims the lawyers, public officials and environmental activists are “conspiring” against it in a coordinated legal and public relations campaign.

Exxon has even given that campaign a vaguely sinister-sounding name: “The La Jolla playbook.” According to the company, about two dozen people hatched a strategy against it at a meeting six years ago in an oceanfront cottage in La Jolla, Calif.

“The attorneys general have violated Exxon Mobil’s right to participate in the national conversation about how to address the risks presented by climate change,” said Dan Toal, a lawyer who represents Exxon. “That is the speech at issue here — not some straw man argument about whether climate change is real.”


BOOM. read the entire article here.

h/t to reader Allan MacRae

UPDATE: here is the report that came out of the meeting: http://www.climateaccountability.org/pdf/Climate%20Accountability%20Rpt%20Oct12.pdf

backup copy here: Climate Accountability Rpt Oct12 (PDF) h/t to Rud Istvan

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Mr and Mrs David Hume
February 17, 2018 9:39 am

We hope that they are not laughing now.

ShrNfr
Reply to  Mr and Mrs David Hume
February 17, 2018 11:21 am

Time for RICO against these creeps.

Sara
Reply to  Mr and Mrs David Hume
February 17, 2018 12:00 pm

For once, I am going to say ‘Go for the gusto, Exxon! Knock their socks off, especially that fat, smug, bloated, gloating slug to the right of the lectern in that photo.’

Eric Simpson
Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 9:54 pm

The blubbering fatso Gore must be eating a cow a day and is obviously not doing his part to keep his “carbon footprint” small.

February 17, 2018 9:45 am

Good work EXXON. Hit them hard. And let’s be honest: if EXXON closes the valves we all die.
How many people are rescued each year thanks to helicopters?

Trebla
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 10:02 am

I agree wholeheartedly. I just wish the oil industry would go on strike for two weeks. No fuel except for hospitals, police, fire stations and the military. No plastics, no paint, no asphalt, no chemicals, no nothing! Direct your complaints to Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. Buy an electric car if you need transport, or ask Musk to pony up one of his new semis.

Sheri
Reply to  Trebla
February 17, 2018 10:05 am

So do I. It would be very effective. I just don’t see them having the courage to do so.

Richard M
Reply to  Trebla
February 17, 2018 10:27 am

Just do it in blue counties (or any county with a lawsuit). That is where 97% of climate activists live.
Of course, that would be nearly impossible for one corporation. All the oil companies and distributors would have to work together.

beng135
Reply to  Trebla
February 17, 2018 11:00 am

If oil companies went on strike, governments would use that as an excuse to nationalize them — by force if necessary.

mikewaite
Reply to  Trebla
February 17, 2018 12:18 pm

We had a strike in 2000 in UK by hauliers , angered at the fuel tax which had reached 80%, who blockaded the refineries to prevent tankers reaching the petrol stations. This was the result after just 5 days :
-“On 13 September 2000 the government announced that 5% of normal fuel deliveries were made, however other reports indicated that only 3.8% amounting to 5,000,000 litres (1,100,000 imp gal; 1,300,000 US gal) compared with a normal daily sale of 131,000,000 litres (29,000,000 imp gal; 35,000,000 US gal).[22] In Scotland only very limited supplies were being delivered for emergency use only.[22] Three-quarters of petrol stations were reported to be without fuel.[20] Some NHS trusts cancelled non-essential operations due to staff difficulties in reaching work and ambulances were only able to answer emergency calls in most parts of the UK. The National Blood Service reported that it was coping and blood supplies to hospitals were not under threat but said that there “were some significant problems in some parts of the country”.[23] The government placed the National Health Service (NHS) on red alert.[22] Supermarkets began rationing food due to difficulties in getting food deliveries through[22][24] and there were reports of panic buying.[25] Sainsbury’s warned that they would run out of food within days having seen a 50% increase in their sales over the previous two days; Tesco and Safeway stated that they were rationing some items.[26] The Royal Mail also reported they didn’t have enough fuel supplies to maintain deliveries and that schools began to close.[22] The government began deploying military tankers around the country and designated 2,000 petrol stations to receive supplies for essential services.[22] Some deliveries commenced from the refineries and the police supplied escorts as required to ensure that tankers could move.[27] (from WIKI)”-
I was caught out because I had just started working 200 miles away from home and could not find the fuel for weekend visits home.
The Institute of Directors estimated the cost , after just 5 days of action , as £1 billion .
The Govt finally acceded to demands to regulate the tax increases in future and not penalise British hauliers unfairly compared to European lorries.
Oh yes an embargo would definitely attract attention- but I doubt if Exxon would have the guts to even threaten it .

Mario Lento
Reply to  Trebla
February 17, 2018 11:04 pm

Call it, “The Ayn Rand, 2-week test run” . Imagine the possibilities for people to research the meaning of the named shut down.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  Trebla
February 18, 2018 12:10 pm

Trebla Beware Peak CONVENTIONAL Oil.
Far more serious is NATURE’s growing constraint on liquid fuel supplies. Analyze carefully ExxonMobil’s 2018 Energy Outlook. It already reports NO growth since 2005 in conventional crude plus deep ocean plus oil sands. AND existing oil fields are depleting ~ 5%/year. ExxonMobil ASSUMES liquids increase 20% to match demand growth. It implies a 10% DECLINE of these conventional oil supplies by 2040 (by projecting tight oil plus natural gas liquids rising 20% BUT increasing to 30% of total supply by 2040.) See:

◾Global liquids production rises by 20 percent to meet demand growth
◾Technology innovations lead to growth in natural gas liquids, tight oil, deepwater, oil sands and biofuels
◾Technology enables efficient production from conventional sources, which still account for more than 50 percent of production in 2040
◾Most growth over the Outlook period is seen in tight oil and natural gas liquids, which reach nearly 30 percent of global liquids supply by 2040
◾Continued investment is needed to mitigate decline and meet growing demand

See Liquids Supply Graph
http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook/energy-supply

Bryan A
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 10:07 am

They could still be rescued by helicopter, they would just need to land every 20 miles to recharge overnight

TG
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 11:17 am

Exxon is going after the lawyers who are suing it. ABOUT TIME. In my experience of leftist/ racial environmentalist You cannot compromise, There cannot be a middle ground, they are always extremist. Exxon should hit them and keep hitting them in the pocketbook and by all means possible!!
DON’T LET THE ABOVE PHOTO FOOL YOU THESE CONCRETIONS ARE THE ENEMY’S OF FREEDOM AND REAL SCIENCE!!!!

Harry Passfield
Reply to  TG
February 17, 2018 11:58 am

Going for the bandwagonners – those who thought tgeydgo along for the ride, only to to get shafted by the likes of Gore.

Reply to  TG
February 17, 2018 3:50 pm

It is long past time that Exxon and other energy companies got up off their knees. Fossil fuels provide about 86% of global primary energy. Renewables provide about 2% despite trillions per year in wasted subsidies, paid by consumers.
Exxon used to fight anti-oil global warming extremism under Lee Raymond, but then switched to a strategy of acquiescence to warmist pressure. It is clear that acquiescing did not work – you cannot compromise with extremists – it only emboldens them to ramp up their harassment.
I spent most of my career in the energy industry, and when confronted by warmist hysterics I just say:
“My industry keeps your family from freezing and starving to death.” It IS that simple.
Regards, Allan

Reply to  TG
February 17, 2018 3:55 pm

Reprise from April 2017 and June 2015:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/18/white-house-cancels-meeting-on-considering-paris-climate-accord-action/#comment-2479880
To Donald, Ivanka, Jared and Rex:
Donald was correct – time to dump the Paris Climate nonsense!
_________________
COLE’S NOTES for all the TRUMPs and Rex Tillerson – from 2015:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/
Observations and Conclusions:
1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record
2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.
3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.
4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.
5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.
6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.
7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.
8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA and about 10,000 in Canada.
9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.
10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.
Allan MacRae, P.Eng. Calgary, June 12, 2015

rocketscientist
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 12:38 pm

You can’t build the high efficiency wind turbines without petrochemicals. What do you think composites are made from?

Ron Clutz
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 1:34 pm

Finally Exxon fighting back; they’ve been under seige for some time.comment image?w=584&h=375
Climate Activists storm the bastion of Exxon Mobil, here seen without their shareholder disguises.

ricksanchez769
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 2:19 pm

Hey Exxon – sometimes trucks breakdown ONLY in NY and Mass – of course delaying delivery of gas to service stations. It’s rather coincidental that this happened to Chevron and Shell too in those same 2 states – imagine that!

czechlist
Reply to  ricksanchez769
February 17, 2018 2:59 pm

Unfortunately the retailers would have to bear the cost and the wrath of the consumer.
Pity

JohnKnight
Reply to  David Dirkse
February 17, 2018 2:29 pm

” I just wish the oil industry would go on strike for two weeks. ”
Huh? You want the country thrown into turmoil, by the oil industry? You don’t think that would play into the hands of those who claim the big bad oil industry is putting it’s own interest before the welfare of the people/country?

February 17, 2018 9:46 am

Took my anti-vertigo pill before I went over to read the article. Good thing – Bloomberg is, as usual, spinning like mad to “prove” that lawfare is evil – when the other side engages in it.

ironargonaut
Reply to  Writing Observer
February 18, 2018 12:16 pm

The article misses the point, sharing notes is OK, saying let’s all sue them at the same time in different jurisdictions so that they can’t afford to defend themselves is a conspiracy to deprive them of free speech and to defend themselves. Because the goal is not to have your day in court but to deny the other guy his.
Clintons did this with gun manufacturers and HUD. It worked on Smith and Wesson. Except gun owners stopped buying their product.
If they had all joined one suit Exxon wouldn’t have had a case.

Drew Childress
February 17, 2018 9:55 am

Just watch the video that plays when you go to the bloomberg link above…grade A propaganda

markl
February 17, 2018 10:02 am

Eat that elephant one bite at a time but eat the easiest to get to pieces first.

Joey
February 17, 2018 10:03 am

This is EXACTLY what needs to be done with these groups that play the game. EVERY time one of these groups or their spokesmen bring forward defamation, they should be sued off the face of the earth. The time to remove the gloves was about five years ago. Playing nice gets you nowhere. As Winston Churchill is believed to have said….”you don’t negotiate with a tiger when your head is in its mouth”.

Curious George
Reply to  Joey
February 17, 2018 10:13 am

Rex Tillerson is no longer with Exxon.

PiperPaul
Reply to  Curious George
February 17, 2018 4:54 pm

I think he’s doing something else now for crappier pay.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Joey
February 18, 2018 9:01 pm

Obama is no longer in office.

Mario Lento
Reply to  Joey
February 19, 2018 9:10 pm

Joey: I just saw the trailer for Darkest Hour… I need to see that movie. The trailer shows him making that statement, “you don’t negotiate with a tiger when your head is in its mouth”

Latitude
February 17, 2018 10:04 am

They’re going to cross the line one day….soon
…and they ban all petroleum products

Sara
Reply to  Latitude
February 17, 2018 12:03 pm

Latitude, “all petroleum products” includes a massive number of synthetic materials that are used in every industry on the planet, and in medicine. It is NOT just fuels and heating and cooking. It’s everything those clowns take for granted.

rocketscientist
Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 12:44 pm

As I rhetorically asked above:
From what material do you think the composite blades of the wind farms are made?

AussieBear
Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 2:30 pm

+10

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Sara
February 17, 2018 5:44 pm

Exxon built the giant endangered bird blenders!!

Latitude
Reply to  Latitude
February 17, 2018 12:55 pm

fertillizer…and plant spray
Fighting it sounds like a good thing…
I’d like to see Exxon not fight it….lose big time…and then pull out of supplying them

Reply to  Latitude
February 17, 2018 6:59 pm

Everyone loses if Exxon loses, even the left but they are too stupid to see it.

s-t
Reply to  Latitude
February 17, 2018 8:36 pm

“Everyone loses if Exxon loses, even the left but they are too stupid to see it.”
Or: the modern “left” (who abandoned working class people) could not care less about that.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 17, 2018 10:10 am

Here’s what I find troubling in Exxon’s petition:

ExxonMobil finds itself directly in that conspiracy’s crosshairs. Even though it has long acknowledged the risks presented by climate change, supported the Paris climate accords, and backed a revenue-neutral carbon tax, ExxonMobil has nevertheless been targeted by state and local governments for pretextual investigations and litigation intended to cleanse the public square of alternative viewpoints.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 17, 2018 10:31 am

To be more clear, what troubles me is that Exxon might have set itself up to look contradictory, or, maybe worse, opportunistic in its own right, by first, “acknowledging risks presented by climate change”, knowing that the phrase, “climate change”, generally has become a catch-phrase for “climate change caused by human CO2 emissions from fossil fuels”, second, by supporting an international agreement that I would feel confident their experts could plainly see made no difference practically, hence making it look like a blatant, transparent public relations gesture to manipulate potential opposition opinions about fossil fuels (in other words lying to gain favor), and, third, by backing ANY kind of “carbon tax”.
It’s like Exxon is trying to play it both ways, which looks very wishy washy, weak, and manipulative. In other words, they Exxon lacke balls from the very beginning, and this might have made them more vulnerable to a “conspiracy”.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 17, 2018 2:43 pm

This may be a wise position on the part of their lawyers.
I would be nice if the US judiciary were uniformly blind, but many current judges show large left leaning streak and would look askance at arguments from a skeptical source, truly believing Alarmism is Gospel. (Ask Mark Steyn).
Exxon may want to avoid a trial over whether Global Warming is beneficial or not (see Pruitt, Scott) and instead insuring that it is a “Freedom of Speech” issue; where they would have a much better chance if they needed to appeal.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 17, 2018 4:57 pm

I do feel that the fraudulent bond offering claim is strong, and that it could be a winner.

Paul Schnurr
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
February 17, 2018 12:55 pm

Hard to stop reading…..here’s the money paragraph, #59. Can’t have it both ways:
“A series of lawsuits recently filed by municipal governments in California appear
to follow the La Jolla playbook already implemented by the state attorneys general. These
lawsuits complain of imminent sea level rise and allege that ExxonMobil and other Texas-based
energy companies bear responsibility for the resulting harm. But these allegations against
ExxonMobil and other Texas-based energy companies cannot be credited. In municipal bond
offerings by these same municipalities, including offerings that use a Texas-based underwriter,
fiscal agent, paying agent, escrow agent, or trustee,
103 none of the municipalities disclosed to
investors such risks”

The Dismal Science
Reply to  Paul Schnurr
February 17, 2018 1:41 pm

That is why Exxon will win this lawsuit.
Governments borrow money by offering bonds to build infrastructure projects. The infrastructure acts as collateral for the bonds, should there be a default. Part of the bond offering is disclosure – you must disclose risks to the infrastructure, since it is acting as collateral on the bonds. Minimizing risks gets you lower interest rates on the bonds, which reduces borrowing costs. But there are all sorts of laws to prevent anyone from lying on these disclosure just to get a lower interest rate – it is a big no-no, and considered to be criminal fraud.
Exxon can simply buy some of these bonds for each state and locality suing them (to get standing), then launch a counter suit saying the bond offering was fraudulent, based on the claims regarding climate change the municipality made against Exxon.
The worst case scenario for Exxon is they win the bond lawsuit, and a number of municipal employees go to jail for fraud, and the bonding cost for all municipalities engaged in the lawsuit is increase dramatically, but they lose the climate lawsuit. That is the WORST case scenario. The best case scenario is they win the climate lawsuit easily, with damages, lose the bond lawsuit, and simply sell the bonds on the market. Exxon will make money either way.
These municipalities literally can’t win this lawsuit. The voters in these municipalities should dump every one of these smiling creeps ASAP – they are going to destroy your finances.

s-t
Reply to  Paul Schnurr
February 17, 2018 8:28 pm

Paris has been complaining about amount of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air and how it affects health.
Guess where there is more PM? The metro (provided by “RATP”, Régie autonome des transports parisiens).
Up tens times as much: https://libertarianisme.fr/2015/03/21/paris-le-rer-et-le-metro-plus-pollues-un-jour-normal-que-la-route-lors-dun-pic-de-pollution/
What would happen if this went to court? Paris could sue “polluters” (whatever that is, like, car makers) but then some metro employee who had lungs issues after a lifetime under the surface would sue the RATP? This could be epic!

February 17, 2018 10:19 am

It is about time they stepped up. But it took a direct threat to them to get them to do it.
A lot of skeptics have put their careers and livelihoods at risk by taking a public stance on the CAGW issue. It is those skeptics who have been holding back the dam (if you will) of disaster that would be visited upon humanity if fossil fuel use was to be constrained in any major way. One of the major beneficiaries of that has been the fossil fuels industry. Its time they joined the fight, and that includes funding the skeptics who have been most adversely affected by their public positions. Big Oil is regularly smeared for funding them anyway, so they may as well make the accusation true and help win the fight they are the direct beneficiaries of.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
February 18, 2018 9:58 am

@davidmhoffer
“It is about time they stepped up. But it took a direct threat to them to get them to do it.”
Exactly. Which is partly why I have been advocating for shareholder lawsuits against XOM management for not dealing with the reality of fossil fuel related AGW – WHATEVER they honestly thought that reality was. Any dummy could have anticipated that the CO2 catastrophists are not going to relent in their efforts to {cough} {cough} ‘solve’ the CAGW problem, with major impacts on fossil fuel companies. Exxon Mobil could have spent what, for them, is chump change in educating the public (via advertising campaigns, passing out flyers at gas stations, etc.) about the current status of climate science.
Forcing them to defend themselves, by telling the truth, would be a good thing. I don’t care if it upsets the poor dears, or if their shareholders have to sacrifice a few pennies per share. AFAIK, these climate cowards couldn’t even be bothered presenting amicus briefs at the trials of Mark Steyn or Tim Ball. It’s an easy guess if somebody was conducting lawfare against Anthony Watts, the XOM climate cowards wouldn’t lift a finger.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  metamars
February 18, 2018 9:05 pm

It took President in office.

old construction worker
February 17, 2018 10:22 am

‘Exxon Sues the Suers in Fierce Climate-Change Case’ Good for Exxon! ‘The company claims the lawyers, public officials and environmental activists are “conspiring” against it in a coordinated legal and public relations campaign.’ Who do those people think they are, part on the DNC, appointees of FBI and justice Dept. Can’t wait for discovery.

co2islife
February 17, 2018 10:33 am

It’s about time. The science is on their side. Just because the progressives want to loot an industry doesn’t mean we have to go along and let them. Thieves, all of them.

Reply to  co2islife
February 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Trouble is they’ve been running with the pseudoscience for decades in their stupid appeasement efforts. That was really dumb.

co2islife
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2018 2:58 pm

Yep, negotiating with bad faith progressives is never a good idea. They don’t play by the rules any honest person would ever recognize.

s-t
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2018 8:14 pm

(Big Oil) “running with the pseudoscience for decades in their stupid appeasement efforts”
What makes you trust Big Oil’s honesty on this one?
What if Big Oil found the so-called “scientific finding” that “CO2 = bad” to be good for their business?

Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2018 1:05 pm

I don’t ‘trust’ them. Either way it was dumb and was always going to bite them in the glutes.

J Mac
February 17, 2018 10:34 am

Sure sounds like a racketeering conspiracy by the Gore/McKibben cabal, to deliberately cause financial harm to Exxon. I stand and applaud Exxon’s aggressive actions against this climate change crime syndicate!
How can we help?

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  J Mac
February 21, 2018 6:00 am

Keep buying gas 🙂

Bob Denby
February 17, 2018 10:44 am

Too many tax-free entities in ‘play’ here — and it’s long past time to have them identified for their feigned altruism. The tax code, complicit as the ‘enabler’, is long overdue for an overhaul.

February 17, 2018 10:44 am

“That is the speech at issue here — not some straw man argument about whether climate change is real.”

Did they intend to say ‘man-made’ climate change, or simply ‘climate change?’
What is Exxon saying? They should be more specific; as in accurate.

schitzree
Reply to  garyh845
February 17, 2018 2:08 pm

Exxon is saying what they’ve always said. Exxon isn’t (publicly) skeptical of Climate Change, or even Anthropogenic Global Warming. They never have been. They don’t need to be. NOTHING the Green’s or the Climate Faithful will ever do will truly harm Exxons market share. They can build all the wind and solar farms they want, and it will, at most, put some coal or nuclear plants out of business.
Electric cars might one day put a dent into gasoline sales, but if they can they would have without the Greens. And as long as the Greens are pushing renewables they will keep making electricity prices artificially high. More Electric cars will only exacerbate this.
And clearly Exxon has never been against a ‘Carbon Tax’. They probably have already figured out that it would harm their competitors more then them.
Exxon only really got serious now because these lawsuits COULD start effecting their cash flow. They know if they start paying the climate danegeld for anything that ‘might’ someday be caused by ‘Climate Change’, they will never stop.
~¿~

Roger Knights
Reply to  schitzree
February 17, 2018 10:57 pm

“Exxon is saying what they’ve always said. Exxon isn’t (publicly) skeptical of Climate Change, or even Anthropogenic Global Warming. They never have been.”
But Mobil ran public service ads for over a decade criticizing various green claims, including those on climate change.

schitzree
Reply to  schitzree
February 18, 2018 4:58 am

True.
But the combined company isn’t called MobilExxon, is it. 😉 We know who came out in charge of that merger. And as far as I know ExxonMobil has kept to the Consensus since then.
Mind you, I wish they hadn’t. But I understand why they did. And it will probably work our for the best for them. After 30 years the CAGW meme is looking pretty threadbare. It will be much easier to break with the Consensus now then it would have back then.

Reply to  garyh845
February 17, 2018 2:54 pm

The important part is the first phrase; that they are suing because they contend their free speech rights have been violated by the government, and by agents of the government (promises of 25% of the award to lawyers).
The second phrase reinforces that stance; that this suit against the Attorneys General has nothing to do with whether “climate change” is real (man made or natural).

Rob
February 17, 2018 10:51 am

They want to hit hard. Shut the fuel off to them. Otherwise they’re just spinning their wheels.

Juan Slayton
February 17, 2018 10:57 am

Exxon, the world’s 10th biggest company… says… it agrees with the scientific consensus.
They’re cutting off the puppy’s tail an inch at a time.

Benjamin Sullivan
Reply to  Juan Slayton
February 17, 2018 11:14 am

World Changing Discoveries, Physics, and Science (stolen and obscured).
Unification.
Quantum Gravity.
My Family and Me need your help now!!!
The website address that you placed at the end of your message was flagged by McAfee as being “Risky” I have therefore deleted this link. Mod

TA
Reply to  Benjamin Sullivan
February 17, 2018 6:26 pm

Russians?

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Benjamin Sullivan
February 17, 2018 7:55 pm

Don’t worry about the Russians. Robert Mueller indicted them, and if they ever show up in America before the statute of limitations runs out, they’re in big trouble.

Tom Halla
February 17, 2018 11:04 am

About time! Countersuing legal activists is something that should have been done long ago. Perhaps the civil portion of the civil rights laws (43 USC 1983-85) would fit, especially the public employees violating civil rights under color of authority.

texasjimbrock
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 17, 2018 11:10 am

I would apply RICO.

Tom Halla
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 11:16 am

From what i have read, RICO is harder to prove than the civil rights statute.

Gary
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 11:19 am

Ironic to apply RICO to the folks for whom this tool was created.

February 17, 2018 11:07 am

Am I the only one that reads this from Sharon Eubanks, a lawyer who was at the La Jolla gathering. “It’s sort of like a big scare tactic: reframe the debate, use it as a diversionary tactic and scare the heck out of everybody.” and thinks isn’t that what the cities that want to sue are doing?

Doonman
Reply to  rogercaiazza
February 17, 2018 11:49 am

Sharon Eubanks pretends that only lawyers were at the La Jolla strategy meeting which is far from the truth.

texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 11:09 am

Think about it. What would happen to our Defense Department if there were no petroleum products or derivatives to use as fuel. The navy has a good bit of nuclear-powered ships and subs (but ground transport for food and ammo would be affected), and the army and ai force would be in a bind.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 11:27 am

Even nuclear-powered ships need lubricants.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 12:05 pm

Could they use a Tesla battery wall? Would it fit in a sub? /s

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 1:10 pm

Only aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear anymore.
The purpose of the carriers is to provide a mobile airfield for fighter/bombers, which require jet fuel to be of any use. So even though the carriers don’t require fuel, all their support ships and aircraft do.
Only nuclear submarines are combat-effective without fuel.

PiperPaul
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 17, 2018 5:00 pm

The AI Force is the newest branch after Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  texasjimbrock
February 18, 2018 4:03 pm

I’ll bet there is a lot of plastic in those ships and subs. Insulation, clothing, safety equipment ect. And that’s before you start looking at the supply line or training of personnel.

Earthling2
February 17, 2018 11:11 am

Except they are messing with Exxon, and not only does Exxon have Deep pockets, they have ex ‘alumni’ in the State Dept. Not to mention Trump, who also had a bit of experience with law suits himself.
Me thinks there is going to be some squealing and wailing/gnashing of teeth by the CAGW alarmist crowd from now on in as they start losing ‘defamination’ lawsuits and USA not only doesn’t fund the Paris Accord, but President Trump also starts openly mocking the entire man made global warming/climate change meme.
The last shoe to drop will be that the weather/climate itself does not cooperate with the ‘scientific’ models of the doom and gloom that is just about to swallow us whole, according to the climateer’s own prophetic projections.
It would all be laughable, and it actually now is, if it wern’t for the fact that trillions off $$ are being wasted on worthless stuff while ignoring every day real problems and issues that do need addressing.
Shame on the Climate Charlatans… especially Distinguished Poser Dr. Michael Mann and loser Al Gore.

Bruce Cobb
February 17, 2018 11:19 am

Looks like they’ve got a tiger by the tail.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 17, 2018 11:28 am

You had to sya it, didn’t you?

RAH
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 17, 2018 11:46 am

And the tiger is turning around and swiping at them now. I wish Exon would make them prove climate change and make them bring in “expert” witnesses like Gavin Schmidt when they start questioning his numbers.
Speaking of which, have you noticed what Paul Homewood has been doing along the lines of exposing adjustments to RECENT temperatures?
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/us-big-freeze-is-adjusted-out-of-existence-by-noaa/
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/ghcn-are-even-inflating-current-temperatures-in-new-york/

Chuck in Houston
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 21, 2018 6:19 am

Bruce Cobb wrote “Looks like they’ve got a tiger by the tail.”
Good one, Bruce.

February 17, 2018 11:43 am

Exxon is not making this up. The conspiracy started at Scripps La Jolla on June 14-15 2012 at a two day workshop chaired by Naomi Oreskes. The 35 page summary titled Establishing Accountability for Climate Change Damages is still available on line via easy Googlefu. Just double checked. Was the planning document that culminated in the Scheiderman presser.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2018 1:39 pm

You are welcome. Too difficult to do a proper link in iPad, not just being lazy. I looked the report up at the time of the Schneiderman presser. Delighted that Exxon is on the offensive because of it.

RAH
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2018 1:50 pm

“Too difficult to do a proper link in iPad”
Not easy on a droid phone either. It does get frustrating.

Bengt Abelsson
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2018 2:08 pm

That document states that the signal to noise ratio is too small to make the case.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2018 3:39 pm

Bengt, that is another observation supporting the Exxon conspiracy accusations. The meeting participants admitted the AGW harm link was not established,, yet proceeded as if the equivalent proof to smoking=>cancer existed. Will be their downfall, now that Exxon is counterattacking.

TA
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2018 6:49 pm

“The meeting participants admitted the AGW harm link was not established,, yet proceeded as if the equivalent proof to smoking=>cancer existed.”
That’s not good! For those suing Exxon, that is. 🙂
It’s about time these Leftwing AG’s were hauled before a judge for misusing their public offices.
I suppose the results of this case will be relevant to some of the other entities suing for climate change damages.
First, you have to prove that CAGW exists, before you can claim you have been damaged by CAGW. Apparently, those suing Exxon can’t prove CAGW exists and they know it, but still are making the effort to harrass Exxon.
This counter-suit is good for Exxon, and good for freedom-loving people everywhere. It’s always good to call to account public officials who abuse their power.

WBWilson
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 18, 2018 4:45 pm

Seems to have been mostly lawyers and activists at that meeting.
At least one scientist was in attendance:
“Claudia Tebaldi, a climate scientist at Climate Central, emphasized the problem
of confounding factors: “If you want to have statistically significant results about what has already happened [on the health impacts of climate change],” she said, “we are far from being able to say anything definitive because the signal is so often overwhelmed by noise.””
But they weren’t listening to her. The execrable Oreskes even advocated for the relaxation of scientific rigor when communicating with the public. But Ms Tebaldi was having none of it:
“Some of the scientists at the workshop, however, took issue with the idea that they ought to apply different standards of proof to their work. Claudia Tebaldi, for instance, responded, “As a scientist I need to have two different standards? I don’t see that. I am not convinced that I should lower my standards of skepticism when I talk to the public. As a scientist I give you the probability. It is not my job to change my paper if the consequences are so bad. That is the job of a policy maker working with my results.””
And at least one lawyer pointed out the glaring difference between the tobacco companies and fossil fuel producers:
“Glantz did note a fundamental difference between tobacco and climate change, however: while tobacco companies offer no useful product, he explained, “The fact is we do need some form of energy. Unless other alternative energy firms replace the current carbon producers, which seems unlikely, at some point there will likely have to be some kind of positive engagement. Less clear, however, is how best to create a political environment for that engagement to work.””
It seems the only outcome of the tobacco case was to squeeze more money from the producers. Now they’re trying to do the same with energy producers.

Yirgach
Reply to  ristvan
February 18, 2018 10:04 am

Yes, it was Naomi’s Baby!

The workshop was conceived by Naomi Oreskes
of the University of California−San Diego, Peter
C. Frumhoff and Angela Ledford Anderson of the
Union of Concerned Scientists, Richard Heede of
the Climate Accountability Institute, and Lewis
M. Branscomb of the John F. Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard University and the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography. Alison Kruger of
the Union of Concerned Scientists coordinated
workshop logistics.

February 17, 2018 11:45 am

What a smug looking set of barstewards there are in that picture. Get the state pen ready

RAH
February 17, 2018 11:50 am

Another thought. Perhaps the AGs of some of the oil producing states like TX, OK, AK, should enter in this fight on the side of Exxon?

Sara
February 17, 2018 12:12 pm

This should be interesting. Large portions of the products that these greedy, grasping litigants take for granted come from processing crude oil into various molecular structures other than gasoline, kerosene and lubricants. That includes the plastics that are the backing for PVC sheets and the resins that compose the blades for wind turbines, among many, many other products. I’m sure there is a list so ponderously long, somewhere in interspace, that your feet could go flat just from the time it takes to read the entire list.
This entire lawsuit thingy has nothing to do with climate, with ecosystems, and/or with the environment. It’s a money grab, as they always are, along with the attention grab for ‘doing the right thing , because #peeepuulll matter!’ It looks good on paper, but the taxpayers in those particular states will bear the burden of paying for it and get nothing in return.

commieBob
February 17, 2018 12:33 pm

The obvious response of the alarmist community is to call Exxon’s actions a SLAPP. Surprisingly, to me at least, I could only find one website on the first page when I googled Exxon SLAPP. link
There are laws against lawyers engaging in frivilous lawsuits. There’s barratry:

… barratry is the offense committed by people who are “overly officious in instigating or encouraging prosecution of groundless litigation” or who bring “repeated or persistent acts of litigation” for the purposes of profit or harassment.
link

There’s malicious prosecution but I think the AGs are immune to that.
There’s champerty and maintenance:

Champerty and maintenance are doctrines in common law jurisdictions that aim to preclude frivolous litigation. “Maintenance” is the intermeddling of a disinterested party to encourage a lawsuit.[1] It is “A taking in hand, a bearing up or upholding of quarrels or sides, to the disturbance of the common right.”[2] “Champerty” (from Old French champart, a feudal lord’s share of produce) is the “maintenance” of a person in a lawsuit on condition that the subject matter of the action is to be shared with the maintainer.[3] Among laypersons, this is known as litigation finance. link

There’s also vexatious litigation

Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary. … A single action, even a frivolous one, is usually not enough to raise a litigant to the level of being declared vexatious. Rather, a pattern of frivolous legal actions is typically required to rise to the level of vexatious.

The alarmists point out that there’s nothing wrong with a group of lawyers getting together to coordinate a lawsuit. That’s fine for a single lawsuit. If a group of lawyers, AGs, and politicians get together to plan a coordinate campaign of lawsuits, IMHO it tips into harassment. They are using the courts to achieve a political end.
For about a decade, I followed groklaw. It covered lawsuits by a small software company, Caldera/SCO as it sued IBM, Novell, and others. I never ceased to be amazed at how SCO could keep their crap going through the courts. They stretched out their eventual bankruptcy in such a manner that their victims could not recover a single penny. As far as I could tell, no lawyers were sanctioned as a result. My take is that the whole mess is proof positive that the American legal system is seriously broken.
What do I expect from Exxon vs. AGs? I have no clue. I am, however, putting in a decade worth of popcorn in the pantry.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
February 17, 2018 3:59 pm

They may be immune from civil and criminal penalties for malicious prosecution, however they can be dis-barred. For one example, the DA that tried to prosecute the members of a university LaCross team for an alleged rape.

commieBob
Reply to  MarkW
February 17, 2018 5:21 pm

I guess I must have been off the planet when that happened. The case is sufficiently notorious that the DA, Mike Nifong, has a wiki page. If I have it correctly, DAs are immune from malicious prosecution charges. There’s no immunity for all the other crap that he perpetrated … what a mess!

Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2018 9:33 am

And therein lies the problem; these things take years to end. This, however, offers perfect timing for the POTUS to start serious changes to the debate. First, he should openly challenge the CO2 endangerment rules from the EPA. If that would change, the damages claimed by the AGs and friends may have no basis. It also is time to dump the whole UN UNEP scam, and expose it for what it is. He has three more years (at least) to get things changed. I think Canada has had enough of our embarrassment and hopefully will vote him out. Let the dominos fall.

February 17, 2018 12:37 pm

Make them prove the climate change charge. Consensus science is junk science. That should rattle them some having to prove the theory.

Reply to  JJ Reuter
February 17, 2018 2:42 pm

They don’t have to. All they have to do is wheel out the abysmal but true fact that all institution, journals and academia support it 100%. And they do.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2018 4:08 pm

They want you to believe that, but not every institute or university does support it. You just don’t hear about them.

February 17, 2018 12:55 pm

I am asking as an information question, but what was the truth or otherwise of the articles that appeared a year or two ago that Exxon’s investigators had buried their own report on climate change back in the 1980s?

M Courtney
Reply to  David Bennett
February 17, 2018 1:21 pm

It was untrue but spun to make it look as though Exxon were sinister.
The email in question is printed in full in this Guardian article. The article itself is good example of twisting the facts to present the worst possible interpretation of the story.
The key point is that Exxon were aware of the risks of CO2 induced climate change. But that does not mean they knew that CO2 climate change was significant or even if it existed at all (it was 1981). Only that regulations caused by Green pressure groups could affect the bottom line.
Here is the relevant paragraph from the email:

In the 1980s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change to lead to regulation that would affect Natuna and other potential projects. They were well ahead of the rest of industry in this awareness. Other companies, such as Mobil, only became aware of the issue in 1988, when it first became a political issue. Natural resource companies – oil, coal, minerals – have to make investments that have lifetimes of 50-100 years. Whatever their public stance, internally they make very careful assessments of the potential for regulation, including the scientific basis for those regulations. Exxon NEVER denied the potential for humans to impact the climate system. It did question – legitimately, in my opinion – the validity of some of the science.

MarkW
Reply to  M Courtney
February 17, 2018 4:01 pm

It’s also not true that they tried to bury the reports.

Reply to  M Courtney
February 18, 2018 1:40 am

Thanks, I read it as that in the 1980s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change that might lead to regulation that would affect Natuna and other potential projects but Exxon did not have (no one at that time had) the science to say what the consequences of the venting of CO2 would be. What Exxon was concerned about is what regulations might be brought in when either the science developed subsequently or when another actor was successful in bringing in regulation even without the science to back it.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  M Courtney
February 18, 2018 2:37 pm

As one in the Australian mineral industry in the 1980s, I am surprised that any corporation, in hindsight, would say that they knew about climate change and CO2 adequately to make policy about it. For example, we searched for data and found very little after reading how excessive UV light was causing blindness in salmon fish in far Sth America, in Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance”.
We concluded that much of that book had hearsay science, far below the standards needed for policy formulation and so we didn’t make policy. Geoff.

February 17, 2018 1:35 pm

When the Exxon law Department moves all wrong doers should beware.

Warren Blair
February 17, 2018 2:21 pm

Rex Tillerson is responsible for this situation. Rex is a soft corporate criminal. Rex is a globalist energy tax advocate. Now in the WH, Trump is a fool for bowing to pressure from conservative power brokers to employ Rex.

Editor
Reply to  Warren Blair
February 17, 2018 2:23 pm

How much oil and gas do you use then?

Editor
February 17, 2018 2:22 pm

Getting oil out of the ground does not cause global warming. It is burning it that does.
So, from a legal point of view, why are the AGs not going after car drivers, factories, govt offices, and everybody else who uses oil, gas and coal?
Is Eric Schneiderman really saying that Exxon knew about AGW, but New York did not when it was using oil to stay alive?

Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 17, 2018 2:41 pm

Paul, you are using logic to point out the absurdity of this. Warmunists and progressive politicians like Schneiderman abhor logic (and simple irrefutable facts). That’s why they want to shut down debate and silence bloggers like you and Anthony. But in the internet era outside Google and Facebook, they cannot win and, with facts and logic as our weapons, skeptics cannot lose. Just takes a while.

TA
Reply to  ristvan
February 17, 2018 7:06 pm

Which brings up in my mind this interesting article.
It seems like some people think you might be a criminal if you are a foreigner commenting on an American website about American politics (if you haven’t followed the proper procedures, the ones that got the Russian trolls in trouble for not following:
https://lawandcrime.com/opinion/does-mueller-indictment-mean-clinton-campaign-can-be-indicted-for-chris-steele/
Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele?
“Mueller’s unprecedented prosecution raises three novel arguments: first, that speaking out about American politics requires a foreign citizen to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act; second, that speaking out about American politics requires a foreign citizen list their source and expenditure of funding to the Federal Election Commission;”
end excerpt
The rest of the article is very interesting, too.
We ought to have a thread on the Mueller indictment since our friends in other lands might be getting nervous after reading the above. They’ll be looking over their shoulders to see if Mueller is close behind. 🙂
https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download

RAH
Reply to  ristvan
February 18, 2018 12:45 am

The win would come a lot quicker if the oil companies just ceased shipments of all their products to the states or municipalities filing suit. All commercial vehicles that are using the offending product and or transporting it refused to enter the state or municipality. All ships using or transporting the offending product divert to ports in other states or municipalities. All aircraft using the offending product divert to other states or municipalities. All pipe lines carrying the offending product cut off to the states/municipalities have their flow diverted elsewhere. Yea, I know it’s not a practical and won’t happen but I like to think about what the rapid reaction would be if even one of those things occurred in response to this waste of time and resources. I would like seeing the idiot AGs and activist idiots go through what would look like the stages of death and dying very quickly.

Nigel S
Reply to  ristvan
February 18, 2018 1:42 am

TA February 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm: Mueller seems to be on firmer ground with the alleged fake IDs but it’s pretty thin (an expensive) gruel. The ads. that pop up seem to think I’m in Dagenham (UK, in fact about 40 miles east) so I think I’m safe.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 17, 2018 3:08 pm

“Is Eric Schneiderman really saying that Exxon knew about AGW, but New York did not when it was using oil to stay alive?”
Yes that’s exactly what they are saying and the precedent has already been set by tobacco cases. The evil Exxon are the experts and had in-depth knowledge from the outset about the negative consequences of the product they were peddling but went ahead anyway for unscrupulous profit. The poor utility Co’s and public were duped by the unscrupulous Exxon. The morons have even admitted culpability by playing along with the garbage science.
Now at this late hour they see the feeding frenzy building and are going into panic mode. I don’t blame them. Their idiotic appeasement policy has dumped them up to the nostrils in the ordure.
Really do think if at all possible all the oil players need to close ranks at this point and go major offensive including embargoes to all cities/states engaging in this type of open warfare.

s-t
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2018 9:26 pm

There are controversies about the products produced during normal cigarette smoking combustion vs. what cigarette smoking machines combustion produce, and cigarette makers are accused of making cigarettes that behave differently in smoking machines.
Car makers are accusing of cheating the car tests. Euro car testing has long been criticized as very unnatural, unlike real driving.
Some ISP are accused of breaking net neutrality to discriminate in favor of connection speed test tools against useful uses of the connection.
But nobody is disputing the fact that fossil fuel combustion produces CO2.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 17, 2018 7:30 pm

The whole world has been told about climate change, global warming, whatever you want to call it for over 20 years. If Exxon has any guilt then so does everyone else – every single person who has used a fossil fuel including that hypocritical ex VP in the picture. Tobacco was different – addictive chemicals and the user was hurting overwhelming just him/her self. There’s nothing addictive about oil, gas and coal and yet the harm is supposedly universal so Oreskes 2012 argument simply does not compare. I’ll bet my house that Oreskes has used a fossil fuel after attending her meeting. Hypocrite, 100%. What the activists are looking for here is an admission, even unintentional, that Exxon thinks CAGW is proven beyond all doubt because then they, the activists, will be able to apply huge pressure to governments to change the western world’s economic system. Exxon lawyers will be quite aware the ramifications of going anywhere near such an admission.

Javert Chip
February 17, 2018 2:56 pm

I cannot imagine Exxon filing a lawsuit like this had Hillary won the presidential election.

M Courtney
Reply to  Javert Chip
February 17, 2018 3:01 pm

Are US legal systems really so in thrall to political masters? The law is meant to be blind.
Now the current predicament of her fundraiser, Harvey Weinstein, is a different story.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  M Courtney
February 17, 2018 6:14 pm

The fact that by the time this reaches the Supreme Court the Trump appointees may dominate it.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 17, 2018 3:07 pm

I believe Exxon sell petrol as Esso (and Texaco?) in the U.K. so I will make a point of using their petrol stations as a gesture of support. Good luck to them.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 17, 2018 3:47 pm

Used to be. Now either Exxon or Mobil branded gas stations. But a good idea.

Mike Maguire
February 17, 2018 4:05 pm

It’s turned into a battle over a non problem and the wrong problem.
So what if Exon did know?
Knowing that the last 4 decades would feature the best weather and climate for most life on this planet in the last 1,000 years (the last time it was this warm globally) carried with it, exactly what responsibility?
Preparing farmers/crop producers so they would have much larger storage facilities for the unexpectedly massive crop yields and supplies?
That and the greening of our planet has been the biggest effect from the slight beneficial warming and huge benefit from CO2 fertilization.
Maybe they should have known that climate science would be hijacked for a political agenda and tax payers would be footing the bill and entities that got in the way would be attacked, mischaracterized, vilified and crushed for having an opinion that did not line up with theirs?
They very well know now that is the plan.
The response should be to expose the plan and planners via the weaknesses in the science………..which is mostly still based on a speculative theory that is represented by mathematical equations fed into super computers which project the next 100 years worth of climate and even more absurdly, regional weather.
Take away the simulation of a potentially catastrophic future climate in the distant future and we should ask……..what have been the actual damages that could have been avoided the past 40 years if we knew, 40 years ago that climate models would be too warm and the planet would be greening up and every extreme weather event(that has happened before) would be blamed on humans burning fossil fuels and “carbon” emissions?
So should we have started getting it wrong sooner?
Should we have started exaggerating the weather and climate sooner?
Should we have started indoctrinating an earlier generation into the human caused catastrophic climate change religion, so that there would not be so many “deniers” today?

s-t
February 17, 2018 6:45 pm

“Exxon says the suits are violating its free speech right”
The suit violates free speech right? Or is it the “regulation” (*) of finance and the “protection” of the investors by civil servants?
The problem I see is the idea that investors need to be protected by a body (beside being protected from obvious frauds like usurpation, fake titles, fake claims).
You end up with a “Ministry of truth” and “Ministry of final predictions of the future”.
(*) French: “réglementation”, not the “invisible hand” obviously

s-t
Reply to  s-t
February 19, 2018 8:16 am

United States Supreme Court
CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION, (2010)
Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers, which may be a means to control content.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/08-205.html
The whole analysis is worth reading.

gymnosperm
February 17, 2018 6:46 pm

It is looking more and more as if the courts are where the climate debate must be argued. Argument is impossible in academia, the arguers are censored in the journals. The same is largely true for legislatures.
Only the courts have rules of evidence.
The courts do not want the role, but it seems inevitable. Mann’s case against Tim Ball was dismissed on tangential grounds. Tim’s lawyers undoubtedly advised the weasel out for cost reasons. Mr. Mann’s use of data upside down needs to be entered into evidence.

s-t
Reply to  gymnosperm
February 17, 2018 7:45 pm

US courts have discovery, too.
This could prove annoying for some so-called “universities”.

Graphite
February 17, 2018 8:42 pm

If all the smug people in the world emigrated to their own island, named it Smugland and held an election to install a leader based on his smugness, Al Gore would win by such a margin that he would be declared President-For-Life and referred to thereafter as Your Smugness Most High.
As the first exhibit for my hypothesis, I submit the photo illustrating this article.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Graphite
February 17, 2018 11:10 pm

Someone said of an MSM broadcast talking head: “Never knowingly out-snugged.”

Nigel S
Reply to  Roger Knights
February 18, 2018 2:06 am

Out smugged by ‘Smugglypuff’ perhaps.

Snarling Dolphin
February 17, 2018 8:56 pm

High time. Leave no doubt. None. No quarter. No prisoners.

michael hart
February 17, 2018 9:25 pm

I’m certainly intrigued to see which particular line of argument Exxon chooses to adopt. There are many to choose from but presumably they have to be specific and choose only one of them in court?

michael hart
February 17, 2018 11:04 pm

As others have said, the strategic appeasement of the alarmists on the science front will still likely come back to bite Exxon and the whole industry. Just because fossil fuel products are too important to abandon, that doesn’t mean corporations will be allowed to make reasonable profits and returns on investment in the future. Donald Trump is probably only a breathing space and there is a high probability of later administrations being just as antithetical as Obama’s, or worse. This current bunch may lose in court, but along with EPA-Sierra-Greenpeace they are all still cooking up alternative schemes for how they are going to suck every last drop of blood from the patient. And they are doing it 9 till 5 on the public dime.
Serious long term investors in the industry really do need to get it into their skulls: They are coming for you.
The best approach in the future will still be to argue that the human effect is small. This of course has always been the most likely outcome, but who is going to argue the scientific case in public? The industry has done nothing to support those scientists brave enough to have done so. It might still have the opportunity to fund the unbiased scientists remaining in the climate field, but most of them have gone or learned how to shut up. It probably needs wealthy philanthropists to individually fund permanent positions for selected scientists who can demonstrate independence from the “97%-ers” because the climate-enforcers cabal has effectively removed all potential sources of dissent within the publicly-funded arena.

Reply to  michael hart
February 18, 2018 10:45 am

@michael hart
“. It might still have the opportunity to fund the unbiased scientists remaining in the climate field, but most of them have gone or learned how to shut up.”
Somewhat off-topic, but an analogous phenomenon was seen in the UK, amongst groups studying Aluminum toxicity. In this case, the bad guys were not greenie radicals, but non-ideological Aluminum Industry corporations.
Here is professor Exley, one of the few who wasn’t scared away
from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ox-AjKCeA0 starting 16:53
“So that’s my philosophy (silica rich water consumption to combat aluminum toxicity) and why I’m more than happy to support a company who have been brave enough to continue their colaboration with me. Because people like me are not the most popular people in the world; and some of the governments, {unintelligible} charities, everyone who’s in the pocket of the Aluminium industry, believe you me, that’s more or less everybody. And so it does take a degree of bravery or stupidity to remain in my camp… The problem is I have lost – not literally – many researchers around the world who have not been able to continue their work in aluminium simply because they’ve been told by their bosses to stop. It is that absolutely true, and is the case.
In the UK, 20 something years ago, we host meetings every 2 years called the
Q (?) meetings of Aluminium. Our first meeting is in 1995 with 25 groups in the UK working on aluminium in 1995. The next Q (?) meeting on aluminium, will be Q 12, which will be in Vancouver, which will be in March this year. There’s one group in the UK working on {unintelligible, but from context must mean “working on Aluminium”}, and you know which one it is. {laughter, because it is obviously Exley’s group}.

February 17, 2018 11:31 pm

If Exxon play this right and put the thin edge of the wedge into the right place, the cases that follow will open up a grand canyon to exploit.

Coeur de Lion
February 18, 2018 1:35 am

A pity it’s not about climate.

Meigs
February 18, 2018 6:13 am

Post Al Gore’s monthly oil, gas and elec bills

John Garrett
February 18, 2018 9:14 am

Go get ’em !!
This is long overdue. It’s time the rest of them (e.g., Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Statoil, BP and ENI ) figured out that appeasing the Klimate Krazies will only lead to more extortion and harassment.

ccscientist
February 18, 2018 11:59 am

In the Northeast, they are very smug about stopping fracking in NY state (and more) and stopping pipelines all over. Which means that in really cold times they are getting their gas….from Russia!!! By ship. But it costs lots more (duh). Mission accomplished.

s-t
Reply to  ccscientist
February 18, 2018 1:37 pm

You should sanction Russia (for posting images of Jesus Christ on the Web apparently) and let these people die in the cold. That’ll teach Vladimir Putin a lesson!

ccscientist
February 18, 2018 1:02 pm

To some extent Exxon is missing the point of the lawsuits. Those suing are convinced that Exxon caused climate change (ignoring that consumers used the oil) which they also claim has caused them damages. There is no proof of any damages to date. Those suing are also under the mistaken belief that if they could shut down Exxon, then no one would buy oil anymore, and climate change would be solved.

s-t
Reply to  ccscientist
February 20, 2018 8:57 am

No, the idea is that Exxon “knew” something about climate that academia ignored, and kept others in the dark. Contrast with the claim NSA knew something about cryptanalysis that academia ignored and used this knowledge to alter ciphers recommended by NSA to weaken these.(*)
There is no evidence Exxon had climate research significantly in advance of academic research. And that claim destroys the whole “established science” narrative anyway:
– the science is firmly established, has been for a century;
– more research spending is needed to have some idea what’s going to happen;
– we may or may not be able to explain the pause, or other climate changes…
(*) Indeed NSA knew something about cryptanalysis that academia ignored, specifically the differential cryptanalysis approach and how to apply it to DES (Data Encryption Standard): the design of S-boxes in DES is optimized to resist differential cryptanalysis:
https://crypto.stackexchange.com/questions/16/how-were-the-des-s-box-values-determined
NSA made DES stronger, not weaker.

David Archibald
February 18, 2018 2:46 pm

Blame Rex Tillerson. When he became Secretary of State he wanted the US to sign onto the Paris agreement – because he believes in globalism and global warming. The previous head of Exxon was switched on to the climate con and funded sceptics personally. But now that it is fighting back, belatedly, Exxon should follow on with a scientific education campaign demonstrating how beneficial increased CO2 is. And they should send a delegation to Pruitt to encourage him to end the endangerment finding.

Joel Snider
February 19, 2018 12:13 pm

Hopefully this means that Exxon is learning the fallacy of appeasement. It’s never more that a short-term solution – if that – and it simply encourages and reinforces attacks.
Bottom line – there is no ‘meeting half-way’ when the other side wants you expunged from existence.

Amber
February 19, 2018 10:11 pm

As a customer of Exxon I fully expect they will defend the legal sale of products that are responsible for
massive increases in the quality of life on earth but I don’t expect them to brag about it in their report to shareholders . I hope the warming trend that got us out of the current ice age continues . Thank you Exxon and all fossil fuel companies for the added bi- product of fossil fuel
our friend CO2 .
The purpose of eco anarchists , like the tiny clique of AG’s, is to try and bully Exxon and ultimately other fossil fuel companies into paying shut up money to bankrupt States . The real issue is the gross incompetence of politicians who have squandered $Trillions and are now hoping someone will bail them out .

February 20, 2018 2:57 pm

I sincerely hope that the attorney general and governor of my state of Washington are called out by Exxon-Mobil for participating in these unlawful acts.

Benjamin Sullivan
Reply to  jgriggs3
February 21, 2018 5:14 am

World Changing Physics and Discoveries: Unifying Equation; Gravity Resolved: I own the Quantum Technological Revolution.
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Gravity – Resolved.
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Help Me – I will pay a premium (Millions) – No Fail Contingency Case of a lifetime!
This CIA has tried to kill me multiple times in conjunction with CSIS.
Botched CIA Murdering Operation in Russia:
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Send everywhere and publish everywhere! World-Changing Physics
This intelligence community has prevented me from obtaining representation and exposing the truth to the public.
Help my Family and Me!
Benjamin Allen Sullivan

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