An investigation into Exxon Mobil's stance on global warming by our state attorney general and others angers the energy giant and its congressional allies. Investigators must stand firm.
AG Maura Healey, her New York counterpart Eric Schneiderman, and environmental advocates are exploring whether or not Exxon Mobil misled investors about the reality of man-made climate change. The corporation has responded not by denying the claims against it but by suing to block the investigation.
Exxon Mobil has an ally in House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and global warming skeptic, who has issued subpoenas to both attorneys general seeking the records they have collected in the course of their investigation. That an anti-science Republican is head of a science committee shows how far through the looking glass Congress has traveled since Republicans gained control of the House.
The two attorneys general will not hand over the records because, as a spokesman for Attorney General Healey explained, the subpoenas are unconstitutional and constitute interference with legitimate state investigations. Republican officials who regularly proclaim their belief in states' rights routinely toss their principles aside when inconvenient, such as in their attempts to override state laws on abortion and gay marriage. Global warming-related investigations provide another example.
Exxon Mobil's reaction to the investigations indicates the corporation has something to hide. Ms. Healey, Mr. Schneiderman and their allies should move forward and not be intimidated by a congressman wielding the power of Big Government.