SEC and #ExxonKnew activists also targeting the energy giant
Energy company and fossil-fuel provider Exxon Mobil is the Jupiter of American business.
It’s so large, it’s gravitational pull attracts Obama Administration strikes to promote wealth-distributing “climate change” policies and otherwise undermine the American economy.
Earlier this week, I noted that one of Exxon Mobil’s allies in the quest for sensible science regulation (the Competitive Enterprise Institute) was subpoenaed by the Attorney General of the Virgin Islands for correspondence related to its two decades worth of work on climate change and energy policy…including private donor information. Attorney General Claude E. Walker is one of the 17 “AGs for Clean Power” who have colluded to punish “climate change deniers” using civil racketeering statutes.
Exxon Mobil is the test case for the legal tactic being implemented by the “Gang of 17”.
However, the energy giant is attempting to deflect this particular strike:
Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change, a sign the energy company is gearing up for a drawn-out legal battle with environmentalists and officials on the politically charged issue.
The company filed court papers in Texas seeking to block a subpoena issued in March by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of several government officials pursuing Exxon. Wednesday’s filing argues that the subpoena is an unwarranted fishing expedition into Exxon’s internal records that violates its constitutional rights.
“The chilling effect of this inquiry, which discriminates based on viewpoint to target one side of an ongoing policy debate, strikes at protected speech at the core of the First Amendment,” the filing says.
Exxon also dismisses the notion that there is any suggestion of a crime, saying Attorney General Claude Earl Walker “issued the subpoena without the reasonable suspicion required by law and based on an ulterior motive to silence those who express views on climate change with which they disagree.”
The AGs are just one weapon in this particular battle. The Obama Administration has also unleashed the Securities and Exchange Commission, with success:
The Securities and Exchange Commission has told Exxon Mobil it must include a resolution on its annual shareholder proxy that, if approved, would force the company to outline for investors how its profitability may be affected by climate change and the legislation that aims to combat it.
The decision was a defeat for the energy giant, which had fought against it. The proposal was introduced in December, after the Paris accord on climate change, by a coalition of investors led by New York State’s comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, who is the trustee of New York State Common Retirement Fund, and the Church of England.
Alan T. Jeffers, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, said on Wednesday that it would “provide the board’s position on the shareholder resolutions in our proxy document.”
It is not obvious that Exxon’s shareholders will embrace such an idea. Last year, they soundly rejected a proposal to add to the board an independent director with expertise in climate change.
I suspect many of the shareholders are like myself, who acquired stock in opposition to the environmental thuggery of this administration.
The environmental activists relish the thought of investors pulling out of fossil fuels, and hence the SEC requirements. This theory is as sound as the climate science they promote: Exxon’s stock is up on higher oil prices.
Finally, the minions of the Obama Administration are ginning up a social media campaign: #ExxonKnew.
A key meeting in the new push unfolded in January behind the closed doors of a Manhattan office building.
The session brought together about a dozen people, including Kenny Bruno, a veteran of environmental campaigns, and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, two activists who helped lead the successful fight to block the Keystone XL pipeline. The new campaign’s goals include “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm,” according to an agenda of the meeting viewed by The Wall Street Journal. This new legal strategy stems in part from environmentalists’ frustration at what they see as the inadequacy of recent climate deals.
Behold our opponents in all their social media glory:
— CECHR (@CECHR_UoD) April 13, 2016
Ultimately, scientific and technological realities will attract more Americans and profits…no matter how many legal, regulatory, and social media strikes the Obama Administration and its lesser satellites lob.
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