The question of climate change ‘fraud’ cuts both ways

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, center, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, right, and other U.S. state attorneys general announced a state-based effort to investigate companies over climate fraud. (Reuters photo via Huffington Post)

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.



35 comments on “The question of climate change ‘fraud’ cuts both ways

  1. Steve says:

    And I bet the liberal minded readers of this blog (you know who you are) will insist the consensus of climate scientists proves the threat from human caused climate change (AGW) is so large as to be unmeasurable….or they will insist there is no way of determining what amount of change in the climate can be scientifically attributed to human activity.

    All one has to do is go back and read the exchanges between Rincon , Nyp, Patrick and myself.
    Those three all claim there is no action too small when it comes to “mitigating” human activity while none of them can come up with any consensus of scientists showing to what degree human activity really has on the changing climate.
    How are we to choose appropriate actions when no one can tell us how much our activity is really effecting the climate?

  2. Patrick says:

    This is beyond laughable.

    These “defenders of the First Amendment” write a letter to state attorneys general demanding that these independent state attorneys general “stop” doing what those independent state attorneys generals decide what is in the best interests of protecting their citizens and enforcing the laws on those “sovereign” states?

    Maybe the clowns that wrote, and signed on to this effort to quash other independent states from acting independently ought to do what the citizens in their own states pay them to do; worry about the laws in their own states and do their best to enforce them.

    And go figure that Nevada’s “own” bastard has decided to take time out of doing to the work the citizens in Nevada pay him good money to do, and interfere with another states decision with regard to enforcing their laws. Oh, and get his name in the paper so that come future election time, Exxon knows where he stands.

    This hack.

  3. Steve says:

    Shammy attacks the messenger!
    With hubris inspired aplomb, no less!

  4. Rincon says:

    When an individual lies to another individual in order to induce them to pay money, it’s called fraud. When a billion dollar company lies to millions of people for the same purpose, it’s called freedom of speech.

  5. Rincon says:

    The point that solar companies should be taken to task if they lie to their investors is well taken. It is up to the courts to decide who, if anyone, lied.

  6. Patrick says:

    Maybe Nevada’s own bastard could write a line to the far right wing judges that wrote this unconstitutional decision, and tell them how the State of Nevada will NOT act in the fashion that they deemed acceptable.

    At least that would be doing his job on behalf of the citizens of this state. Why is it that the 3 liberal judges are the ones protecting liberty, and the 3 1/2 most “conservative” judges aren’t?

  7. Steve says:

    I suggest you contact your Congressperson and Senators, Patrick.
    After all, SCOTUS job is to decide what the laws say. IT’s the legislative branches job to actually write them.

  8. Rincon says:

    Evidence found illegally creates a difficult situation. Would we really want the defendants from say a mass murder released because some of the evidence, was collected in violation of a technicality? On the other hand, we cannot allow the government to run roughshod on our rights.

    I believe the best answer is not to throw out the evidence. Better to use it, but also to sanction the officers who collected the illegal evidence. As it stands now, there is little disincentive for police to attempt an illegal search if they think there’s a chance they might get away with it. After all, they won’t be punished. Whether their evidence is thrown out or merely prevented from coming to light makes no difference as it is today, so why not try an illegal search? There’s nothing to lose.

    A police officer who collects evidence illegally is equivalent to a doctor who commits malpractice. Why should they escape justice?

  9. Bill says:

    It is regrettable to to see the name calling by Patrick. Ad hominem attadks add nothing to the debate. When reason and logic fail, attack personally. How intellectually bankrupt. It is a sad reflection upon the attacker and not the victim of the attack. For shame.

  10. Patrick says:

    Bill you’re coming in late. Although I NEVER initiate such silliness, and I am willing to swallow some of it, for some time, at which point I usually ask that the offender stop.

    Sometimes, as with Stevetard, it just doesn’t work and I am forced to join the fray.

    It seems inappropriate, although typical, that people come in halfway through and, attack the person who didn’t start things, and only reluctantly joined. Like in football when the initial offender isn’t flagged, but the guy that throws the second punch is.

    Oh well.

  11. Steve says:

    This usually happens once all their arguments have been shown moot, misdirecting or totally off topic.
    This time it started right off the bat, indicating he knows he is wrong and has no other course of action other tan the “last resort liberal attack”
    When they go there, Bill, I conclude they have nothing left and have no other option to make themselves “feel” superior.
    Thing is, I know what the reality is.

  12. Patrick says:

    Ah, sorry Bill, I see that you were talking about my (factually correct) use of the word bastard to describe the attorney general. No more “ad hominem” than calling him the attorney general; both accurately describe him.

  13. Patrick says:


    I respectfully disagree. The 4th Amendment guarantees our rights to be secure against overreach by the government. Allowing the government to ignore this guarantee, and use the fruits of a search violative of the Fourth amendment will result in the guarantees meaning nothing because there is no incentive for the government to respect the Constitution.

    Would you allow the government to beat confessions out of suspects in violation of the 6th and 8th Amendment? Or violations of the First Amendment where the government preemptively bars publication of information or prevents people from exercising their religious rights and claim that this could be remedied by possible fines on those directly responsible (ignoring entirely the issue of governmental immunity)?

    The only sure remedy, even if unpalatable is to exclude the fruit of that unconstitutional search, is to make sure the government cannot use it; trust me, it’s the best and truly only way.

  14. Rincon says:

    I quote from Steve:
    “Oh LOOK!
    Another concession compliment from Shammy!”

    Steve’s explanation of name calling: “…I conclude they have nothing left and have no other option to make themselves “feel” superior.”

    Would Patrick be justified in reaching the same conclusion about your words, Steve, that you’ve reached about his? If not, then what’s the difference between the two?

  15. Steve says:

    Rincon, Patrick earned that name when he insisted Blacks Law proved the meaning of the word “shall” is for legal purposes, changed to the meaning of the word “may”.
    What Shammy missed is he was referencing a legal delaying tactic called a “sham Plea” Hence, Patrick now OWNS the nick “Shammy”.

    And Patrick’s claim he never starts the name calling and insults is a well documented falsehood.
    Hell, those are Shammy’s go to tactics just about every time!

  16. Rincon says:

    Your argument is reasonable, Patrick and I am forced to agree that the fruits of illegal searches should not be be used. I still wonder though,what our reaction would have been if police found the bodies in Jeffrey Dahmer’s home while searching for say, illegal drugs. A difficult situation with perhaps no good answer.

    Nevertheless, I do not believe our present system motivates our government enough. If the people performing the illegal searches are not penalized, what stops them from trying to get away with it the next time? They have nothing to lose.

  17. Steve says:

    It is apparent there are two people who need to write the representative asking that legislation be enacted correcting the decision made by SCOTUS.
    This is the proper way to deal with a decision by the “highest court in the land”, is it not? Or are you saying it’s all good for Roe but totally unacceptable for searches made on people who are found to have existing, open, warrants?
    Of course, one of those people could sue if or when it happens…..

  18. Patrick says:


    My professors used to say “bad facts, make bad law.” And your example would be a perfect one to illustrate that truth.

    No one wants a “guilty person” to go free, but even more important to the integrity of the system of government that we have is the recognition that an unrestrained government is far more dangerous to our freedom than any individual lawbreaker could be.

  19. Rincon says:

    The answer is obvious, Steve. The Supreme Court decides what will be the law of the land, but nowhere do I read anything about them being infallible. You have disagreed with the Court on many occasions, so why should I not?

    I agreed that evidence obtained illegally should not be used. What we appear to disagree about is that you appear to feel that government officials should be able to conduct illegal searches as often as they please without incurring any penalty onto themselves. Everybody else who violates the law while doing their job is considered fair game. Why not the police?

  20. Patrick says:

    As importantly Rincon is that Nevada decides what it will allow it’s police to do, and what evidence it decides to use in cases prosecuted by the state.

    If a Nevada chooses, it is within it’s authority to prevent it’s police officers from doing that which the a Supreme Court erroneously held was not violative of the Fourth Amendment. It can ensure this by making it the policy of the state to refuse to prosecute anyone using evidence obtained in the unconstitutional fashion permitted by the 4 “conservative” justices.

    THIS is what Nevada’s own bastard in the Attorneys general office ought to be writing letters about. If he’s the “defender” of the Constitution he professes, this is what he should do.

  21. Steve says:

    No SCOTUS does not decide what will be the law of the land. It decides if the law was properly applied in cases brought before it.
    Congress writes the law while the Administration approves it and applies it as they see it.
    To get a decision made by the Judicial branch changed, it takes a new law governing the results of that decision.

    Disagreeing with the court and effecting change are two different things. You and your discussion partner (who insists on calling names on Nevada’s AG right off the bat) are barking up the wrong tree. Write your representatives in Congress if you feel so strongly about that decision.
    But I suggest not using Patrick’s sham filled wording.
    That might get you ignored.

  22. Patrick says:


    You know better than to rely on Stevetard for almost anything other than nonsensical babble, but for the love of God, don’t listen to what he “thinks” about the law, the Supreme Court, or anything else marginally related to our government.

    Obviously the Supreme Court DOES get the final word on what the law is in this country; even half wits understand that the decision In Marbury v. Madison has stood for that since 1803.

  23. Patrick says:

    And don’t let the Fotomat guy tell you otherwise.

  24. Rincon says:

    Thanks, Patrick, but it’s no trouble. Steve’s just keeping busy splitting hairs, but I’m used to it. All three of us knew what I was saying.

  25. Steve says:

    If SCOTUS is the “final word” then how come we have a bunch of states making marijuana legal?

    If SCOTUS is the “final word” then how come we have a bunch of states passing law making changes to the effects of Roe v Wade?

    Both of these are clear examples of what I say. And both show Patrick is shamming you again.

    Today we get a third example, SCOTUS just to the President he has to go through Congress to get his wishes enacted by a LAW written by Congress.

    Shammy is wrong. Again.

  26. Rincon says:

    OK, maybe we didn’t ALL understand me. I said the Supreme Court, “…decides the law of the land.” They indisputably do, just not exclusively. Did you infer that the law of the land means all laws of all kinds?

  27. Thomas Mitchell says:

    SCOTUS determines constitutionality.

  28. Steve says:

    SCOTUS does not “decide the law of the land”
    Even with Roe, they only decided the CASE brought before them. That case had broad, nationwide, effect and ever since, states have been passing laws changing that effect.

    See the difference?

  29. Rincon says:

    Enjoy picking your nits. I’m not going to argue with you about the function of the Supreme Court. Since we can’t agree even on that, I suppose it’s nearly impossible for us to agree on anything.

  30. Steve says:

    A concession! The facts beat out the fantasy, again.

  31. Rincon says:

    You win again.

  32. Patrick says:

    If it weren’t a republican doing this I never would have believed it. I mean, STATE attorneys general, acting within their STATE jurisdiction, and acting to enforce their STATE laws, are being threatened by republicans in the big bad FEDERAL gov’ment?

    “I fear for our beloved republic.”

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