Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Home Middle Column Alex Epstein: 'First The Government Went After ExxonMobil -- Now They're Going...

Alex Epstein: ‘First The Government Went After ExxonMobil — Now They’re Going After Me’

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is persecuting ExxonMobil XOM +0.42% and now me for having opinions on fossil FOSL +1.56% fuels she disagrees with. My company, the Center for Industrial Progress, is one of the 12 cited in the new subpoena of Exxon, meaning that Exxon is supposed to release any private or confidential correspondence any of its employees have ever had with anyone from my company. I have nothing to fear whatsoever about what such a witch-hunt would or wouldn’t reveal on my end, but I do not tolerate anyone violating my rights.

So I wrote the Attorney General a three-word response that is not appropriate for a family publication. See it here.

That is all she deserved but it’s worth elaborating on some of the legal, moral, and scientific questions involved, particularly since the word “fraud” has been thrown around.

The government has no right to demand a single email of mine or Exxon’s unless it has evidence that we are committing fraud by concealing or fabricating evidence. In the case of the climate impact of CO2, this is impossible–because all the evidence about CO2 and climate is in the public domain, largely collected and disseminated by government agencies or government-funded educational institutions.

What ExxonMobil is being prosecuted for is expressing an opinion about the evidence that the government disagrees with. Or, in the case of the #ExxonKnew meme, they are being prosecuted for failing to express an opinion the government agrees with.

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