Financial Times discusses the subpoena CEI recieved as part of the attorneys general intimidation campaign to silence the debate on climate change.
The targets of the investigations, Exxon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think-tank, and DCI Group, a PR and lobbying firm, are being pursued under various different laws, but the common theme is that they are suspected of having knowingly made false statements that played down the risks of climate change.
The legal basis for these actions seems flimsy: Exxon has no operations in the Virgin Islands. Beyond that, the implications of the investigations for free speech on public policy issues are alarming. Everyone ought to be able to take part in policy debates without worrying that their opponents will be able to use the law to go on fishing expeditions through their private communications, looking for embarrassing tit-bits that can be used against them.
Climate change campaigners argue the seriousness of the issue means extreme measures are warranted, but the exact opposite is the case. It is precisely because the stakes are so high that all arguments must be heard. The actions by the attorney-generals can only degrade the quality of that debate.
Read the full article at Financial Times.