Skip Navigation

15 GOP State Attorneys General to AGs United for Clean Power: ‘Stop Policing Viewpoints’

June 15, 2016
By Luther Strange, Bill Schuette, Ken Paxton, Craig Richards, Doug Peterson, Sean Reyes, Mark Brnovich, Adam Laxalt, Brad Schimel, Leslie Rutledge, Scott Pruitt, Jeff Landry, Alan Wilson

On June 15, 15 Republican state attorneys general wrote a letter to the so-called “AGs United for Clean Power” on the letter head of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

added image

On June 15, 15 Republican state attorneys general wrote a letter to the so-called “AGs United for Clean Power” on the letter head of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

The opening of the letter:

Several state Attorneys General recently held a press conference under the banner of “AGs United for Clean Power.” The media event highlighted an investigation into “whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change on their businesses.” We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake.

We all understand the need for a healthy environment, but we represent a wide range of viewpoints regarding the extent to which man contributes to climate change and the costs and benefits of any proposed fix. Nevertheless, we agree on at least one thing— this is not a question for the courts. Using law enforcement authority to resolve a public policy debate undermines the trust invested in our offices and threatens free speech.

We are concerned that our colleagues’ investigation undermines the trust the people have invested in Attorneys General to investigate fraud. Investigatory subpoenas were issued to at least one company and one non-profit believed to have made statements minimizing the risks of climate change. At the press conference, one of our colleagues noted that “[w]e are pursuing this as we would any other fraud matter.” We routinely investigate fraud, and have done so with many of the states present at the press conference. But this investigation is far from routine. We are unaware of any fraud case combining the following three characteristics: 1) the investigation targets a particular type of market participant; 2) the Attorneys General identify themselves with the competitors of their investigative targets; and 3) the investigation implicates an ongoing public policy debate.

Read the rest at the link above.

Article Tags
Energy Climate Change