The government plans to shut down global warming doubters and compel speech that aligns with the leftist ideology on the subject. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative Libertarian think tank prominent for its skeptical viewpoint in climate-policy debates is under assault and the government hopes to shut them down.
The government is, as CEI puts it, criminalizing people for policy differences through RICO-style investigations.
No matter what your opinion is of climate change, the question here is whether the government can use force to compel speech or silence dissent.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is engaged in a legal battle with the Attorney General of the Virgin Islands over their opinions of climate change. CEI is a think tank. They aren’t a fossil fuel corporation or agitators chanting in D.C.
This is no ordinary lawsuit and it’s no ordinary investigation. It is a threat to free speech in the United States. If a think tank can lose its rights to free speech, what individual will be safe?
The Attorney General of the Virgin Islands has joined with fifteen other left-wing Attorneys General and Al Gore to form a group called AGs United for Clean Power. This group announced at a recent press conference that they will criminalize climate change denial by corporations.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told the assembled press that “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real” and if companies are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change, they will “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Almost immediately after the announcement, the investigation of CEI was launched.
Loretta Lynch told Senator Whitehouse during a hearing prior to the announcement that the Department of Justice was looking into prosecuting climate change deniers. The DoJ has already forwarded a sham investigation request of Exxon Mobil to the FBI at the behest of left-wing groups and politicians.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena last November to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.
The New York investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.
This will take a year according to the New York AGs office. These investigations are meant to silence with intimidation, favorably-deposed media, and expensive lawsuits.
Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal producer, had been under investigation by the New York attorney general for two years over whether it properly disclosed financial risks related to climate change.
All of this assumes that climate change is proven science and the government has the right to prosecute people for their opinions.
The Virgin Islands AG, Claude Earl Walker, has subpoenaed 20 years of CEI’s climate research but they will fight it.
Others have weighed in on the assault of CEI and you can view the comments on this link to CEI.
CEI has explained why this could be happening to them in particular.
- The subpoena is pure harassment. They’ve asked for so many documents that the staff of CEI couldn’t possibly comply and continue their work but that is likely one of the goals.
- The government is attempting to “use the prosecutorial powers of the state to chill speech, silence dissent, and extort payoffs via settlement agreements,” CEI reported.
- “CEI analysts have spoken out against New York AG Schneiderman and his allies’”, and the question of retribution is an obvious one.
One note about payoffs and settlement agreements that have been used against ranchers, farmer and other landowners. Environmental groups have colluded with government officials in what has become known as sue and settle cases where the government agrees to settle over a lawsuit by the environmental group after they were encouraged to file the suit by the government.
This assault by government enforcers will not stop with CEI, Mobil, Peabody and it won’t be limited to corporations nor will it end with climate change. It is clearly fascism. We are on a dangerous road.