Don’t expect this logic to penetrate the thick skulls of Democrats looking to silence any dissent.
Eric Schneiderman and Sheldon Whitehouse, call your office. The New York Attorney General and Rhode Island Senator who helped to launch the prosecution of dissent on climate change may not like where their project is headed. Thirteen state Attorneys General have sent a letter pointing out that if minimizing the risks of climate change can be prosecuted as “fraud,” then so can statements overstating the dangers of climate change.
That’s the news contained in a letter that the Republican AGs of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin dispatched to Mr. Schneiderman and other AGs on June 15.
“We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake,” says the letter. “Using law enforcement authority to resolve a public policy debate undermines the trust invested in our offices and threatens free speech.”
It sure does, not least by politicizing fraud prosecutions even more than they already are. Mr. Schneiderman and some 15 other Democratic AGs are targeting only one side of the climate debate—i.e., fossil-fuel companies or think tanks that question climate orthodoxy. Mr. Schneiderman claims that Exxon’s disclosure about the risks of climate change has been inadequate, though the oil company has discussed such risks in its 10-K disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, among other places.
But the AGs’ letter points out that, “If Exxon’s disclosure is deficient, what of the failure of renewable energy companies to list climate change as a risk?” If climate change turns out to be less serious than advertised, then “‘clean energy’ companies may become less valuable and some may be altogether worthless,” the letter adds.
Think SolarCity, or investments made by the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where Al Gore is a senior partner. Mr. Gore showed up at Mr. Schneiderman’s March 29 press conference for AGs United for Clean Power and blamed climate change for the spread of the Zika virus, flooding in the Midwest and Hurricane Sandy. “Every night on the news now it’s like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation,” Mr. Gore said. These unproven claims arguably mislead investors about the value of clean-energy companies.
While we’re at it, how do taxpayers recoup their “investment” from failed Obama crony scams such as Solyndra?