The First Amendment protects the right of free speech. It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Evidently some of our state attorneys general are not aware of this law.
On Friday, The Blaze reported:
It only took a week before the warnings from free speech advocates to come to fruition about the 17 state attorneys general launching investigations into climate change skeptics, as the probe has expanded beyond an energy company to a think tank.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank in Washington, moved to quash a subpoena from the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker.
The Virgin Islands subpoenaed 10 years worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s research on climate change and energy policy. This included private donor information. The demand is for information from 1997 to 2007.
“CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena,” CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said in a statement. “It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group.”
The subpoena itself is part of several states’ investigations into whether Exxon-Mobil violated any laws in showing skepticism about climate change. Several other states, led by New York state Attorney General Erich Schneiderman, are using the racketeering statutes – commonly used to go after organized crime – to investigate companies government officials say might have misled the public about global warming.
States are investigating whether Exxon-Mobil violated laws by showing skepticism about climate change. What? Showing skepticism about something is now a crime?
On Monday, The Daily Signal reported:
Speaking at a press conference on March 29, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real.” He went on to say that if companies are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change, they will “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”
The coalition of 17 inquisitors are calling themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” The coalition consists of 15 state attorneys general (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State), as well as the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Sixteen of the seventeen members are Democrats, while the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude Walker, is an independent.
The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory.
In the Middle Ages, I believe that those who stated that the earth was round were treated the way that climate change skeptics are being treated by these attorneys general.
The Daily Signal further reports:
The officials on hand during the announcement talked only about targeting large companies. But Anthony Sadar, a certified consulting meteorologist and author of “In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail,” fears it could expand to individuals.
“RICO, to my knowledge, is meant to target organized crime, drug traffickers and illegal gambling, not energy companies,” Sadar told TheBlaze. “If it can be used to make big industries cave, then they could go after others that view long-range global climate projections with some skepticism.”
Attorney and author Chris Horner, a senior fellow at CEI, agrees.
“It is clear that, with most opposition already chilled and most support for opponents already scared off, the itch this effort is trying to scratch is the desire to coerce a massive fund to underwrite the global warming industry,” Horner told TheBlaze.
“That explains the call for civil RICO. Still, if they manage to get an investigation rolling into political speech as racketeering, nothing inherently limits it from turning into a criminal pursuit; any state or federal department of justice official who joined in in such a scheme would have already abandoned any normal restraining impulses,” Horner said. “Similarly, there is nothing inherently limiting these investigations to corporations or groups.”
It is my fondest hope that the companies investigated will sue the state attorneys general involved in this into the next galaxy. This is a total affront to free speech. It also sounds very much like a totalitarian government bringing in the thought police. This is a total misuse of the RICO statutes. There needs to be a huge pushback against the states that are involved in this.
When watching this situation, we need to remember that climate change could very quickly become a billion dollar industry. To some extent it already has. Government subsidies finance alternative energy companies, and the United Nations wants to redistribute the wealth of prosperous countries in the name of past sins that may have impacted the climate. Oddly enough, the wealth would move from free countries to countries where the money would go to tyrants leading the country and not to the poorer people who might actually need it.
For anyone new to reading this blog, one of the most informative sites on the internet for valid information on climate change is wattsupwiththat. I strongly recommend checking that site periodically to see the next stunt attempted by those who will profit greatly if they can convince the rest of us that we cause climate change.