Right Hooks

Climate Witch Hunt Against Exxon Goes Down in Smoke

The AGs were in way over their heads.

Jordan Candler · Jul. 1, 2016

The 17-member “AGs United for Clean Power,” Al Gore’s climate witch hunt group whose mission is to shut down skeptics of man-made global warming, suffered a welcome setback this week. On Wednesday, Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker abandoned his pursuit of legal liability against Exxon Mobil, which, along with 90 other groups, was called upon in March to surrender what the AGs claim are potentially incriminating documents that contain evidence of environmental malfeasance.

But Walker, who is also going after other organizations that share incredulous climate views, began to backtrack on his endeavor in May when, as we noted, he “rescinded a DC-based subpoena targeting the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the original subpoena has not been dropped, which leaves the possibility of an unconstitutional prosecution of CEI and other like-minded associates still very much in play.” (As an aside, The Washington Free Beacon notes that litigation in that case is ongoing.) It was a minor victory, but the move signaled growing apprehension about the group’s ability to succeed in court. This week proved far more significant.

According to a “Joint Stipulation of Dismissal,” “On April 13, 2016, ExxonMobil filed a petition … generally seeking declarations that the issuance of the subpoena violated ExxonMobil’s rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and Texas common law.” That evidently was enough to unnerve Walker. “After conferring on the matter, the parties mutually agreed that Attorney General Walker will withdraw the subpoena and ExxonMobil will stipulate to the dismissal without prejudice of this action.”

By no means does this signal that the 17 AGs are giving up and going home. It does, however, prove that they were in way over their heads when they decided to embark on a climate witch-hunt. In light of this week, let’s hope the future bodes just as ill.

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