BY: Lachlan Markay
July 11, 2016 3:15 pm
Democratic senators have been assigned conservative nonprofit groups to call out by name on the chamber floor in speeches on Monday and Tuesday criticizing corporations and advocacy groups for opposing Democratic climate policies, internal emails reveal.
Nineteen Senate Democrats will attack specific organizations in what they are calling a “web of denial,” according to a schedule of floor speeches circulated by Emily Enderle, a top environmental policy adviser to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), who is spearheading the effort.
Internal emails about the effort obtained by the Free Beacon reveal a highly coordinated plan between members of Congress and environmental activist groups to fuel a public relations and legal offensive against fossil fuel companies and groups they support.
Enderle’s email also included graphics and suggested tweets to use “as guides as you craft digital content.”
According to her email, Whitehouse and his allies, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), have crafted a schedule for floor speeches on Monday and Tuesday that assigns each participating Senator at least one group to go after by name.
Most of the groups have already been targeted by state Democratic officials that have undertaken a coordinated legal campaign against oil giant ExxonMobil since last year. Many were named in subpoenas sent to the company by state attorneys general as part of that effort.…
Sen Whitehouse: It’s a ‘problem… that the uniformed military has been reluctant’ to ‘fight’ climate change
After claiming that climate denial in the US “hurts” American soldiers deployed overseas, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says it’s a “problem” that America’s “uniformed military has been reluctant” to engage in the “fight” against climate change. Whitehouse also says that the Navy is “starting to evaluate their base commanders on how well they communicate the risk of climate change”.
SENATOR SHELDON WHITEHOUSE: “The problem has been that the uniformed military has been reluctant to put its voice into– or its image into this fight. So, you’ve got the civilians, you’ve got the Quadrennial Defense Reviews, you’ve got the intelligence estimates, you’ve got the statements from our head of CINCPAC back when Admiral Locklear that this was the threat in the Pacific more than any other likely to disrupt things in a way that would disturb American interests. But, it’s hard to put a panel of people in uniform in front of the Environmental and Public Works Committee and say, you know, I’m a general, I’m an Admiral, I’m the head of the Marine Corps, we’re telling you–. What the Navy has done that’s been really interesting, Ray Maybus said he’s starting to actually evaluate his– you know, the military lives by evaluation– they’re starting to evaluate their base commanders on how well they communicate the risk of climate change about the base. So, if you’re the base commander of Norfolk, or of Naval Station Newport, or of– what is it, Cherry Creek Marine Air Station in North Carolina– you are suddenly have on your checklist of what you’re evaluated on how well you’ve communicated what the risk of climate change is. And, for those bases, for Navy bases particularly, it’s a really real risk. They’re on the sea. Sea level rise is going to swamp what they do. It’s really practical. So, when people hear it from as trusted a source as a uniformed military officer it will make a big difference, and they have not been very forward about it from the uniform side of the military. DOD has been good. Mabus has been the best.”
Time to Wake Up
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
June 17, 2016…
A landmark California bill gaining steam would make it illegal to engage in climate-change dissent, clearing the way for lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies, think-tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”
The first-of-its-kind legislation — Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016 — is scheduled for floor action Thursday after clearing Senate committees in April and May.
The measure would allow state and local prosecutors to pursue claims against climate-change skepticism as a violation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law [UCL], as well as extend the four-year statute of limitations for such claims retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021.
“This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change,” says the state Senate Rules Committee’s floor analysis.
While the measure enjoys broad support by a bevy of environmental groups, the bill has also been described as an effort to ban free speech on climate change as well as chill donations to free-market groups.
Stephen Frank, editor of the conservative California Political Review, called the bill a “totalitarian statement by Democrats that the First Amendment is now dead.”
“Did you donate to the Pacific Legal Foundation? Do you support Americans for Prosperity? Are you a member of the California Republican Party, which has a platform approving of all forms of energy, including fossil fuel (oil)? Do you work for a gas station, an oil company, have your written a letter to the editor in favor of oil drilling?” asked Mr. Frank in a May 31 post.
“If so, you could find yourself with being charged in a court of law, thanks to SB 1161,” Mr. Frank said.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris belongs to a coalition of 17 state attorneys general that joined forces in March to pursue climate-change skeptics, starting with ExxonMobil.
The floor analysis cites as a rationale for the bill articles published last year by InsideClimate News and the Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project accusing ExxonMobil of hiding its research on climate change, which the company has denied.
“By extending the
Here are some other key revelations that come from these emails:
#1: Activists were colluding with state AGs much longer than initially thought
The activists pushing for the climate RICO investigations have been claiming that the “investigative reporting” by InsideClimate News (ICN) and the Columbia School of Journalism were what spurred them to action. But as these new emails reveal, the master plan was already in place and well under way before those articles were published.
In one email, GMU professor Ed Maibach reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to enlist its help in getting activists from every congressional district to sign on to their letter. Peter Frumhoff of UCS replied to that request by saying his organization would not join the effort — because UCS did not think the case was strong enough to have a chance of eliciting the intervention of the federal attorney general. Frumhoff went on to admit that they were already pursuing a possible path via state AGs, noting “we think there’ll likely be a strong basis for encouraging state (e.g. AG) action forward, and in that context, opportunities for climate scientists to weigh in.”…
Some advocacy groups see a wrinkle in using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to prosecute corporations that have allegedly misrepresented climate science in the past, according to private emails of climate scientists.
The emails were released Friday by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group that is opposed to climate change regulation and frequently files lawsuits to seek the emails of climate scientists.
In a batch released Friday, some questioned the tactic advocated by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and others to sue fossil fuel companies for fraud.
“Deception/disinformation isn’t itself a basis for criminal prosecution under RICO,” wrote Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in an email. “We don’t think that Sen. Whitehouse’s call gives enough of a basis for scientists to sign on to this as a solid approach at this point.”…
The dodgy scientists who wrote to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch demanding that RICO laws be used to prosecute climate skeptics just got even more badly screwed.
Already one of them — George Mason University professor Jagadish Shukla — is under Congressional investigation for what has been described as the “largest science scandal in US history.”
Now the background to their footling conspiracy has been exposed thanks to a FOIA request by the Competitive Enterprise Institute which has forced them to release their private letters and emails.
Like Climategate, it makes for some fascinating reading, mainly because — yet again — it shows the climate alarmist establishment in such a terrible light.
Remember, these guys are supposed to be the experts on whose judgment our political leaders base their policies; every year they snaffle millions and millions of dollars worth of grant funding courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer — some of them may even be teaching your kids.…
FOIA E-Mails: Politically Inexperienced, Publicity-Hungry Scientists Get Burned In Political Arena
Unfolding is the latest chapter in the sad state of climate science and the tragic consequences scientists face when they decide to go political without having the experience to do so. One has to wonder what these people were thinking when they expected dissenters to just roll over and waive their precious free speech rights. A Virginia judge has ruled in favor of The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in a Virginia Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against George Mason University, which was ordered yesterday to release documents and e-mails related to a group of scientists calling for the prosecution of organizations that promote manmade climate change skepticism – all under the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Full story here. WUWT sees the scandal surrounding the controversy as one that is even more serious than the 2009 “Climategate” – an affair where e-mails exposed climate scientists exaggerating climate trends, manipulating the peer-review process, and skirting the freedom of information act. A total of 5 PDFs have been released concerning George mason University, and with climate scientist Jagadish Shukla with a leading role. Pages 1- 59 Pages 60-102 Pages 103-133 Pages 134-178 Pages 179-190 As one reads the e-mails, it quickly emerges that some of the involved scientists (unwittingly) meandered out of their academic realm, with which they are comfortable and familiar, and into a political one that is the very unfamiliar to them. Their scheme was ultimately aimed at intimidating and silencing scientific dissent. Odds “slim to none” Early on they were even advised that their case was very weak, and probably best left aside. For example Ed Maibach admitted (000003) that they really didn’t have much of a case: Yet he seemed unable to resist the opportunity of getting “lots of media attention” (000006): Maibach even fancied front page coverage in the Washington Post. What harm could it do to try? “New” in politics We also see Shukla announcing (000003) how he decided to become politically active, that he was “new” at it, and wrote that the issue is more about politics than science: Moreover he added that he had a “dedicated activist” on board for the science-based, world-saving political endeavor on which they were about to embark on: Clearly the political arena was new a new one for scientist Shukla – one he seriously …