Tags: Climate Change | exxon mobil | oklahoma | alabama | accuse | new york | debate

Oklahoma, Alabama Accuse NY of Stifling Climate Debate

Image: Oklahoma, Alabama Accuse NY of Stifling Climate Debate
(Reuters)

Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 01:18 PM

Oklahoma and Alabama accused a coalition of U.S. states investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. and other energy companies misled investors and the public about how climate change might affect their businesses of trying to silence critics.

"Reasonable minds can disagree about the science behind global warming, and disagree they do," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Wednesday. The debate "should not be silenced with threats of criminal prosecution by those who believe that their position is the only correct one and that all dissenting voices must therefore be intimidated and coerced into silence."

Massachusetts on Tuesday became the latest participant in an investigation of climate science and energy companies — including Exxon Mobil, the world's largest — that was started in November by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and also includes California and Virgin Islands. The probe aims to discover whether energy companies intentionally distorted or misrepresented scientific data to minimize the effects of global warming and sway public opinion and policy. They're part of a 17-state and territories' coalition exploring legal avenues for fighting climate change.

As a manufacturer of 10 million gallons of gasoline and other fuels every hour of every day, Exxon is one of the leading sources of carbon-heavy energy. Last year, Schneiderman subpoenaed Exxon documents, including communications with trade groups, in an investigation company spokeswoman Suzanne McCarron described Tuesday as "politically motivated and based on discredited reporting funded by activist organizations."

New York's investigation followed articles by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times alleging Exxon's scientists discovered evidence that man-made emissions were changing the climate as far back as 1977.

Both coalitions are parts of larger groups already facing off in court over the legality of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which seeks to sharply restrict certain carbon emissions.

Twenty-five states, counties and cities — including New York — back the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal, which would close some less efficient coal-fired power plants. Twenty-nine states — including Oklahoma and Alabama — claim the president is trying to "kill off fossil fuels" and want the EPA's plan thrown out.

It isn't the role of attorneys general to "pick winners and losers in the energy sector nor to silence those who disagree with us," Pruitt and Strange said in their joint statement. The objectors say the Obama administration overstepped its authority in issuing the new rules, which they claim will lead to power shortages and higher utility rates.

Attorneys general backing the president's stance on climate change stress it's the states' responsibility to lead in the face of federal inaction.

"With gridlock and dysfunction gripping Washington, it is up to the states to lead on the generation-defining issue of climate change," Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday. "Our offices are seriously examining the potential of working together on high-impact, state-level initiatives, such as investigations into whether fossil fuel companies have misled investors about how climate change impacts their investments and business decisions."

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Oklahoma and Alabama accused a coalition of U.S. states investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. and other energy companies misled investors and the public about how climate change might affect their businesses of trying to silence critics.
exxon mobil, oklahoma, alabama, accuse, new york, debate
492
2016-18-31
Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 01:18 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved