Two can play this game.
First a group of state attorneys general called for investigation and potential prosecution of several oil companies for perpetrating fraud by underplaying the threat of climate change in the public statements over the years.
Now a group of Republican state attorneys general — including Nevada’s Adam Laxalt — are pointing out in a letter that this street goes two ways:
“If it is possible to minimize the risks of climate change, then the same goes for exaggeration. If minimization is fraud, exaggeration is fraud. Some have indicated that Exxon Mobil’s securities disclosures regarding climate change may be inadequate. We do not know the accuracy of these charges. We do know that Exxon Mobil discloses climate change and its possible implications as a business risk. … If Exxon’s disclosure is deficient, what of the failure of renewable energy companies to list climate change as a risk? … If climate change is perceived to be slowing or becoming less of a risk, many ‘clean energy’ companies may become less valuable and some may be altogether worthless. Therefore, any fraud theory requiring more disclosure of Exxon would surely require more disclosure by ‘clean energy’ companies.”
They also note the threats against fossil fuel companies raises serious First Amendment implications when one side of the debate can be subject to expense investigations the debate is serious chilled. “As expressed by Justice Brandeis, it has been a foundational principle that when faced with ‘danger flowing from speech … the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence,’” the letter says.
The letter concludes by telling the other attorneys general: “Stop policing viewpoints.”
A Wall Street Journal editorial also weighs in on this topic.