CEI attorney cites chilling effect of state investigations of ExxonMobil
Legal Newsline discusses Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's investigation of ExxonMobil with Hans Bader.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating ExxonMobil for possibly suppressing climate change research from the public and investors, is overstepping his bounds, a senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute contends.
“If you can intimidate people who take issue with the most alarming and maximal projections of global warming,” said Hans Bader, senior attorney for CEI in Washington, D.C., “you will end up with a skewed estimate of global warming that may also skew public policy and result in misallocation of resources.”
"The First Amendment has long been interpreted as protecting corporate lobbying and donations, even to groups that allegedly deceive the public about important issues," he said. "So even if being a 'climate denier' were a crime (rather than constitutionally protected speech, as it in fact is), a donation to a non-profit that employs such a person would not be."
"These investigations are a threat to mainstream climatologists who do not make exaggerated claims of global warming," he said, "and a threat to oil companies’ ability to engage in prudent contingency planning that takes into account maximal projections of global warming, without having to publicly tout those projections, which often turn out to be inaccurate years later."
Read the full article at Legal Newsline.