Al Gore and 17 state attorneys general convened a March 29 press conference announcing intentions to file criminal charges against ExxonMobil and other organizations who were “committing fraud” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made climate change.
This occurred less than two months after a secret meeting among leading anti-fossil fuel activists hosted by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation (RBF). The stated purpose was “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”
The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) reportedly offered to help fund the campaign through Bill McKibben’s 350.org which has spearheaded successful efforts to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman followed up by issuing RICO actions (formerly used to prosecute mafia figures) against Exxon and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington, D.C. think tank.
Although the charge against CEI was subsequently dropped, the oil company also received RICO subpoenas from other attorneys general that reveal a much broader targeting agenda.
As Kimberly Strassel observed in her June 17 Wall Street Journal “Potomac Watch” column, “The first thing to know about the crusade against Exxon by state attorneys general is that it isn’t about the law. The second thing to know is that it isn’t even about Exxon. What these liberal prosecutors really want to shut down is a universe of their most-hated ideological opponents.”
Strassel notes that while Exxon is a front, “The real target is a broad array of conservative activist groups that are highly effective at mobilizing the grass-roots and countering liberal talking points — and that therefore must (as the left sees things) be muzzled.”
Separate subpoenas issued by Schneiderman, Virgin Islands Attorney General General Claude Walker, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey demand that the company turn over decades of correspondence with a large listing of common enemy organizations.
Any suspected of receiving funding by Exxon and their other favorite boogeymen, Charles and David Koch, received premier attention. The Healey subpoena named the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI), a right-leaning Boston think tank which has reportedly never received Exxon money, but has been a perpetual thorn in her side. BHI has also brought more centered and somewhat lower back pain to other liberal politicians.
Another named Healey subpoena target is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). While never having taken a position on climate, ALEC stands as a powerful national force in helping to draft free-market legislation proposing tax cuts, regulation relief, and tort reforms.
Democratic activists have been waging wars to run the troublemakers out of business for years.
Virgin Islands Attorney General Walker’s subpoena hit list appears to be cut-and-pasted from a kluged-together anti-Exxon website maintained by Greenpeace which identically includes organizations which have been defunct for years, are otherwise misidentified, and are sometimes listed twice.
Incidentally, Greenpeace is getting some man-made heat of their own as the subject of a federal RICO lawsuit filed against them in a Georgia court by a Canadian lumber company, Resolute Forest Products. The defamation complaint reported in The Wall Street Journal charges that Greenpeace activists have impersonated Resolute’s officers, its customers, and others in order to misappropriate proprietary customer and supply chain information and target the company with extortive threats and other illegal conduct.
Resolute also argues that Greenpeace has perpetrated “a global fraud,” having “pawned off common trees felled by natural causes as being several- hundred-year-old ancient trees illegally forested” and having “staged phony photo-ops of seal and other animal slaughters.”
There was no explicit denial when The Wall Street Journal (which is a Resolute company customer) asked if Greenpeace employees or its agents had defrauded, extorted or impersonated anyone.
Although prospects for RICO convictions are recognized to be slim to none, attorney general Schneiderman is pursuing more promising opportunities afforded by creatively applying sweepingly broad terms of a New York “Martin Act.”
Enacted in 1921 to prosecute stock-sale boiler room operations, it enables an attorney general to bring charges without probable cause that any investor was actually harmed.
This allows Schneiderman to search ExxonMobil’s files for any unrevealed knowledge about suspected climate risks from 1977 to present. This includes all information regarding how any related research was used in business projections, how it was described to investors and the public, and all communications on the topic with outside groups such as trade associations.
Nevertheless, win or lose, the message is clear.
The real man-made climate change to really worry about is one of an entirely political nature.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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