Washington, D.C. – Today, 13 Science, Space, and Technology Committee Republicans sent letters to 17 state attorneys general and eight environmental activist organizations. The letters request documents related to the groups’ coordinated efforts to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, scientists and scholars of their First Amendment rights and their ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution.
Americans are entitled to express their views on matters of science and public policy even if certain groups disagree.
“On March 29, 2016, you and other state attorneys general – the self-proclaimed ‘Green 20’ – announced that you were cooperating on an unprecedented effort against those who have questioned the causes, magnitude, or best ways to address climate change,” the letter states. “The Committee is concerned that these efforts to silence speech are based on political theater rather than legal or scientific arguments, and that they run counter to an attorney general’s duty to serve ‘as the guardian of the legal rights of the citizens’ and to ‘assert, protect, and defend the rights of the people.’”
Former Vice President Al Gore spoke at the March 29 press conference and addressed the need to prosecute fossil fuel energy companies for engaging in fraud. Gore and the Green 20’s efforts are part of a larger strategy to achieve the president’s sweeping, job-killing climate change agenda.
Reports show 14 green-tech firms that Gore invested in benefited from over $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks as part of the administration’s push to fund U.S. renewable energy industry with taxpayer funds.
In testimony before the Committee, scientists projected the cost of the administration’s carbon dioxide regulations at $39 billion to American consumers and businesses annually. However, senior administration officials themselves have admitted that these regulations will have a negligible effect on global temperatures.
Since the March 29 press conference, members of the Green 20 have rapidly expanded their legal actions against those who question the administration’s climate change agenda. These legal actions include subpoenas for documents, communications and research that would capture the work of more than 100 academic institutions, scientists and nonprofit organizations.
The Committee has a responsibility to protect the First Amendment prerogatives of academic institutions, scientists and nonprofit organizations and will continue to do so.