Texas attorney general Ken Paxton criticized a Democrat-led probe into ExxonMobil’s climate research Tuesday for using the legal system to influence policy measures that should be left to the realm of politics.
Paxton called the Exxon case an “unfortunate misuse of prosecutorial power” that his colleagues are aggressively fighting. He views the issue as a freedom of speech case.
“A company has a right to express itself on anything it wants to,” Paxton told reporters about claims the oil company hid from the public knowledge about global warming. It’s a matter of pushing back against government intrusion in private matters.
“[It’s] certain that we don’t want government in the practice of investigating companies for having the wrong opinion on climate change,” he said.
Attorneys general have the legal authority to gather information during investigations, Paxton added, but several AGs have used their pursuit against Exxon to influence a debate that should be left in the realm of politics.
Paxton was involved in an amicus brief filed last month opposing New York AG Eric Schneiderman’s Exxon investigation. Republican AGs from 11 states, including Oklahoma and Utah, joined the Texas Republican’s call for Schneiderman and his Massachusetts colleague, Maura Healey, to back off.
Schneiderman and Healey’s probes were based on reports from liberal-leaning media outlets InsideClimate News and Columbia University, which claim Exxon has known the risks of global warming for decades but kept such knowledge under wraps.
Susanne Rust, one of the lead researchers responsible for Columbia’s Exxon reports, has been criticized in the past for allowing her environmental activism to dictate her research on the oil company, among other issues.
Federal regulators dismissed much of Rust’s research showing that an additive called BPA found in plastic bottles can poison foods and water. The Federal Drug Administration has researched such claims and found the chemical “contained no health risk.”
Schneiderman did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for the publication of this article.
Legal analysts, meanwhile, say the internal fights between AGs is unprecedented. Reid Weingarten, a lawyer at D.C.-based firm Steptoe & Johnson, for instance, told TheDCNF in April that he has not seen this kind turmoil in decades.
“The attorneys general move to gain access to Exxon’s documents caught me by surprise,” he said, adding that the amicus brief hashes out some legitimate and “non-trivial” First Amendment complaints.
“I don’t know of any” knock-out, drag down fights between AGs over political tactics and views, said Weingarten, who has practiced law for more than 40 years. “They are essentially accusing two of their own of wrong doing.”
Weingarten was referring to several clauses in the brief suggesting that attorneys general have a duty to act impartially during their investigations. The 11 AGs argue that Schneiderman and Healey’s probes undermine public confidence the two Democrats’ ability to stay nonpartisan.
What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 1)
Guest post by David Middleton
Maybe ExxonMobil should file a RICO lawsuit against the “Shukla 20”, Inside Climate, the LA Times and this gentleman…
Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s—and Denied It
And thanks to their willingness to sucker the world, the world is now a chaotic mess.
By Bill McKibben YESTERDAY 12:13 PM
A few weeks before the last great international climate conference—2009, in Copenhagen—the e-mail accounts of a few climate scientists were hacked and reviewed for incriminating evidence suggesting that global warming was a charade. Eight separate investigations later concluded that there was literally nothing to “Climategate,” save a few sentences taken completely out of context—but by that time, endless, breathless media accounts about the “scandal” had damaged the prospects for any progress at the conference.
Now, on the eve of the next global gathering in Paris this December, there’s a new scandal. But this one doesn’t come from an anonymous hacker taking a few sentences out of context. This one comes from months of careful reporting by two separate teams, one at the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News, and other at the Los Angeles Times (with an assist from the Columbia Journalism School). Following separate lines of evidence and document trails, they’ve reached the same bombshell conclusion: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest and most powerful oil company, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s, and then spent the next few decades systematically funding climate denial and lying about the state of the science.
These folks are so desperate to create a tobacco company analogy that they really must thing that the ends do justify the means.
After a cursory review of “the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News” and part one of their “bombshell conclusion,” I can safely conclude that Exxon didn’t know anything that wasn’t already known, published and available to the public.
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation’s headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world’s use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.
“In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.
Exxon’s research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. Marked “not to be distributed externally,” it contained information that “has been given wide circulation to Exxon management.” In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming “would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion.”
Unless that happened, “there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered,” the primer said, citing independent experts. “Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.”
The “1982 corporate primer” was sourced from publicly available materials from Arrhenius (1896) to Ehrlich & Holdren (1977) to Wang, Yung, Lacis & Hansen (1976). It appears that Exxon relied heavily on a National Research Council publication for this primer, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (1979).
The closest thing to a “smoking gun” that I could find was figure 3 on page 7 of the corporate primer. It is sort of a climate model… It’s a cartoon derived from the NRC publication…
Out of curiosity, I plotted the Mauna Loa CO2 and HadCRUT4 temperature data at the same scale and overlaid it on Exxon’s “climate model”…
Way back in 1982, Exxon knew what Hansen knew. They knew that CO2 would cause nearly twice as much warming as would actually transpire over the subsequent 30 years.
I don’t know if I will follow this up with future posts… My ribs still ache from laughing at part one of this very bad joke.
What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux, “Same as it ever was.”)
If you thought Part 1 was a doozy, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…
Exxon Believed Deep Dive Into Climate Research Would Protect Its Business
Outfitting its biggest supertanker to measure the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide was a crown jewel in Exxon’s research program.
Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer
Sep 21, 2015
In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.
For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. When she turned a lamp on them, the thermometer in the plastic-covered bowl showed a higher temperature than the one in the uncovered bowl.
If Laura and her two younger siblings were unusually well-versed in the emerging science of the greenhouse effect, as global warming was known, it was because their father, Henry Shaw, had been busily tracking it for Exxon Corporation.
Henry Shaw was part of an accomplished group at Exxon tasked with studying the greenhouse effect. In the mid-70s, documents show that Shaw was responsible for seeking out new projects that were “of national significance,” and that could win federal funding. Others included Edward E. David, Jr., a former science advisor to President Richard Nixon, and James F. Black, who worked on hydrogen bomb research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s.
Black, who died in 1988, was among the first Exxon scientists to become acquainted with the greenhouse effect. Esso, as Exxon was known when he started, allowed him to pursue personal scientific interests. Black was fascinated by the idea of intentionally modifying weather to improve agriculture in arid countries, said his daughter, Claudia Black-Kalinsky.
“He believed that big science could save the world,” she said. In the early 1960s, Black helped draft a National Academy of Sciences report on weather and climate modification. Published in 1966, it said the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “agrees quite well with the rate of its production by man’s consumption of fossil fuels.”
In the same period, a report for President Lyndon Johnson from the President’s Science Advisory Council in 1965 said the burning of fossil fuels “may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate” by the year 2000.
By 1977, Black had become a top technical expert at Exxon Research & Engineering, a research hub based in Linden, N.J., and a science advisor to Exxon’s top management. That year he made a presentation to the company’s leading executives warning that carbon dioxide accumulating in the upper atmosphere would warm the planet and if the CO2 concentration continued to rise, it could harm the environment and humankind.
Firstly, the Earth’s atmosphere is not air in a jar.
Secondly, the Black presentation was dated in 1978.
Thirdly, the Black presentation was just another survey of government and academic publications on the so-called greenhouse effect.
Here’s what Exxon knew in 1978…
“Same as it ever was…”
In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.
“Same as it ever was…”
In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.
“Same as it ever was…”
Inside Climate then bemoaned the fact that Exxon management scrubbed a science project…
Exxon’s enthusiasm for the project flagged in the early ’80s when federal funds fell through. Exxon Research cancelled the tanker project in 1982, but not before Garvey, Shaw and other company engineers published an initial paper in a highly specialized journal on the project’s methodology.
“We were anxious to get the word out that we were doing this study,” Garvey said of the paper, which did not reach sweeping conclusions. “The paper was the first of what we hoped to be many papers from the work,” he said in a recent email. But the other publications never materialized.
I never worked for “big oil,” however, “little oil” tries to avoid spending money on science projects.
What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 3, Exxon: The Fork Not Taken)
Guest post by David Middleton
This just keeps getting more hilarious…
Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models
The company chairman would later mock climate models as unreliable while he campaigned to stop global action to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
Lisa Song, Neela Banerjee, David Hasemyer
Sep 22, 2015
Steve Knisely was an intern at Exxon Research and Engineering in the summer of 1979 when a vice president asked him to analyze how global warming might affect fuel use.
“I think this guy was looking for validation that the greenhouse effect should spur some investment in alternative energy that’s not bad for the environment,” Knisely, now 58 and a partner in a management consulting company, recalled in a recent interview.
Knisely projected that unless fossil fuel use was constrained, there would be “noticeable temperature changes” and 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air by 2010, up from about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.
Through much of the 1980s, Exxon researchers worked alongside university and government scientists to generate objective climate models that yielded papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Their work confirmed the emerging scientific consensus on global warming’s risks.
Yet starting in 1989, Exxon leaders went down a different road. They repeatedly argued that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions. Even as the models grew more powerful and reliable, Exxon publicly derided the type of work its own scientists had done. The company continued its involvement with climate research, but its reputation for objectivity began to erode as it campaigned internationally to cast doubt on the science.
Climate ‘Catastrophe’ Foreseen
By 1981, Exxon scientists were no longer questioning whether the buildup of CO2 would cause the world to heat up. Through their own studies and their participation in government-sponsored conferences, company researchers had concluded that rising CO2 levels could create catastrophic impacts within the first half of the 21st century if the burning of oil, gas and coal wasn’t contained.
“Over the past several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the expected climatic effects of increased atmospheric CO2,” Cohen wrote to A.M. Natkin of Exxon Corporation’s Science and Technology Office in 1982. “The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.” (Equal to 5.4 ± 2.7°F).
“There is unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere.”
Exxon’s own modeling research confirmed this and the company’s results were later published in at least three peer-reviewed science articles. Two of them were co-authored by Hoffert, and a third was written entirely by Flannery.
Exxon’s modeling experts also explained away the less-dire predictions of a 1979 study led by Reginald Newell, a prominent atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Newell’s model projected that the effects of climate change would not be as severe as most scientists were predicting.
Specifically, Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick challenged the prevailing view that a doubling of the earth’s CO2blanket would raise temperatures about 3°C (5°F)– a measure known as climate sensitivity. Instead, they said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C (2°F).
I have yet to find any Exxon models… Much less any that confirmed a “Global Warming Consensus” or “Climate ‘Catastrophe’”. What I have found are reports which cite other people’s models and quite a few “cartoons” derived from them.
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” (Lawrence “Yogi” Berra)
Exxon: The Fork Not Taken
It’s notable that Exxon was made aware of the so-called consensus…
“The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.”
And they were also made aware of reality…
“Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick … said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C.”
Inside Climate likes to make a big deal out of this…
Exxon’s former chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, took an even tougher line against climate science. Speaking before the World Petroleum Congress in Beijing in 1997, Raymond mocked climate models in an effort to stop the imminent adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, an international accord to reduce emissions.
“They are notoriously inaccurate,” Raymond said. “1990’s models were predicting temperature increases of two to five degrees Celsius by the year 2100,” he said, without explaining the source of those numbers. “Last year’s models say one to three degrees. Where to next year?”
Mr. Raymond was correct. The models have been “notoriously inaccurate.” However, they have been very precise in their inaccuracies…
What did ExxonMobil Know and When Did They Know it? (Part Quatre: “Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?”)
Guest post by David Middleton
In my previous posts regarding the lawless inquisition of ExxonMobil and its supposed climate cover-up, I’ve pretty well demonstrated that ExxonMobil (then Humble Oil, later Exxon) knew exactly what we know today: The AGW models always forecast about 4 times as much warming as actually would occur. In any science other than government/academic climate “science,” this is known as a failed hypothesis. ExxonMobil was fully aware of this failed hypothesis long before it failed.
Well, the latest spin coming from the commissariat of State attorneys general is that ExxonMobil has misled investors about what the government might do in the future. Yes, I know, George Orwell couldn’t even have imagined this. The most successful energy company in the history of “life, the Universe and everything” is being accused of misleading investors about things that our Federal government (AKA Mordor-on-the-Potomac) might do in the future:
Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?
By Charles Kennedy – Aug 22, 2016
The investigation by a handful of attorneys general into ExxonMobil has much more to do with the oil major misleading investors than it does about covering up climate science.
As The New York Times recently noted, Schneiderman emphasizes that the probe is focused on securities fraud, which hinges on recent statements that Exxon has given to shareholders and securities regulators, not on the company’s alleged cover up of climate science decades ago.
Schneiderman’s argument is straightforward: forthcoming policies to address climate change will severely limit Exxon’s ability to produce all of the oil and gas in its possession. Nobody knows this better than Exxon, Schneiderman alleges, since the company has been at the forefront of climate research since at least the 1970s. If Exxon cannot produce all of its oil reserves because they become either legally off limits or so regulated and/or taxed that they are uneconomical to produce, then the company itself is actually worth a lot less than shareholders think. And if Exxon knows this, then they are committing securities fraud, Schneiderman says. “If, collectively, the fossil fuel companies are overstating their assets by trillions of dollars, that’s a big deal,” Schneiderman said, according to the NYT.
He is looking at an Exxon report from 2014 in which the company told shareholders that climate action from the U.S. government and the international community would not prevent Exxon from producing oil, even decades into the future.
Exxon dismisses the allegations, saying that if it ends up with so-called “stranded assets,” it will because it simply misjudged changing market conditions, which is not a crime. “If it turns out to be wrong, that’s not fraud, that’s wrong,” said Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, referring to its 2014 forecast. “That’s why we adjust our outlook every year, and that’s why we issue the annual forecast publicly, so people can know the basis of our forecasting.”
And of course, if the world fails to implement climate policies that might hold back oil production, Exxon might still be able to extract its reserves unencumbered, which means its original forecast was not wrong about the value of its assets.
Since when has it become the fiduciary responsibility to accurately predict the future actions of government? While every responsible corporation has a fiduciary duty to analyze the effects of proposed and implemented government policies on their business and to communicate this to shareholders and corporations even have an obligation to try to influence how these policies are crafted and implemented through the employment of lobbyists… No corporation has a legal obligation to forecast government malfeasance. And any “leave it in the ground” climate policy would be government malfeasance on a scale not seen since Nero was fiddling. Furthermore, there are no impending regulations or legislation which would force ExxonMobil to abandon proved oil and gas reserves. While some regulations, like the new offshore well control rules, will make it much more difficult and expensive to produce proved reserves and exploit resource potential, none of these would force ExxonMobil to “leave it in the ground.”
I have a hunch that this cabal of left-wing attorneys general and Warmunist activist groups might just find themselves on the receiving end of a RICO lawsuit. Chevron has already paved the legal path for this.
The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie Documentary NEW
The Great Global Warming Swindle Originally broadcasted March 8, 2007 on British Channel 4. A documentary, by British television producer Martin Durkin. The general reaction to this film has been overwhelming and enormously encouraging. As the UKs Channel Four reported in Broadcast magazine.
The Global Warming Hoax | Lord Monckton and Stefan Molyneux