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Texas, Alabama Try to Block Subpoena of Exxon’s Climate Documents

Attorney Generals from Texas and Alabama will oppose efforts by the US Virgin Islands to get Exxon Mobil’s Corp.’s early research into climate change and its potential harm on the environment. The states say that it violates Exxon’s right of free speech guaranteed it under the First Amendment.

“This case is about abusing the power of the subpoena to force Exxon to turn over many decades’ worth of records, so an attorney general with an agenda can pore over them in hopes of finding something incriminating,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a formal statement statement. “It’s a fishing expedition of the worst kind, and represents an effort to punish Exxon for daring to hold an opinion on climate change that differs from that of radical environmentalists.”

About 17 attorneys general (AG) that include those from the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands have opened investigations into Exxon after two news organizations uncovered documents saying that the oil giant had long-known of the adverse effects of climate change. The AG’s role here is largely to protect the company’s investors, who are entitled to know what management knows. 

The subpoena issued by Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents not just from the oil giant but also from those with which it has been in communication.

Exxon, which says the moves are politically motivated, says that climate is real and that its company is working with all stakeholders to find solutions. Like other oil giants, it is diversifying its energy portfolio to include investments in renewables and has recently announced it is investing in a fuel company to try and demonstrate a carbon capture project. 

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3 thoughts on “Texas, Alabama Try to Block Subpoena of Exxon’s Climate Documents

  1. The Great Climate Change Bamboozle

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    H. L. Mencken

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 GT of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y +/- ?? ebbing and flowing between those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

    Mankind’s alleged atmospheric CO2 power flux (watt is power, energy over time) increase between 1750 and 2011, 260 years, was 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, albedo RF reflects 100 W/m^2 +/- 30 (can’t be part of the 333), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface (can’t be part of the 333), latent heat RF from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 +/- 8. Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

    One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et. al. 2011 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2) perpetual loop w/o work, 3) cold to hot w/o work, 4) doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics must be optional for “climate” science. What really counts is the net RF balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses considered by the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming. Of course Trenberth says they are wrong because their results are not confirmed by the predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years.
    Every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues (IPCC AR5 Box TS.3) IPCC’s atmospheric and ocean general circulation models diverge further from reality.

    As Carl Sagan observed, we have been bamboozled, hustled, conned by those wishing to steal our money and rob us of our liberties. Hardly a new agenda.

    BTW I have a BSME same as Bill Nye so I’m as much a scientist as he is.


  2. NOT SURPRISED-Both Texas, Alabama were previously rated “worst” governments for public spaces cleanliness and pollution conditions in the American State Litter Scorecard

  3. The Great Climate Change Denial Bamboozle

    Not surprisingly, the comment by Nick Schroeder is classical denialism.

    First, Humans have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by around 40% in just the past 150 years. That is an undeniable fact, backed up by reams of observations. How do we know it is human-caused CO2? Easy: by isotopic analysis. The human-derived CO2 (mostly from fossil fuel extraction and burning) contains a distinct mixture of different isotopes of carbon, and that isotopic ratio differs noticeably from the ratio naturally present in the atmosphere. The observed increase in CO2 dovetails perfectly with the changing isotopic ratio measurements. Therefore, the CO2 increase is due mainly to human influences – Q.E.D.

    Second, human-caused radiative forcing (RF) is most certainly not trivial. Natural RF mechanisms fluctuate year to year in near-random patterns (think sudden volcanic eruptions, plant growth and die-off in the northern hemisphere as the seasons advance, etc.). Not surprisingly, these fluctuations largely balance each other out, which is why the natural climate exhibits a near-stable range of temperatures (averaged over decades to centuries). But human-derived RF is an ever-increasing influence, always driving the heat energy balance upwards. It is the unbalanced, ever increasing aspect of human RF that makes it so influential. The combination of naturally fluctuating RF and the unbalanced human RF results in global temperatures that fluctuate around an underlying trendline that is always rising.

    Finallly, Nick’s comments about some “popular GHE theory power flux balance” are so confused that one can hardly begin to understand any sort of point. But one thing is clear: climate researchers are manifestly not stupid. No self-respecting scientist would publish any paper that contains unphysical heat flows – he or she would be quickly crucified by the scientific community. Therefore, if Nick believes any of his own nonsense about unphysical heat flows, then it is Nick who is confused – not the scientific community. All of whom, by the way, have PhDs as opposed to Nick’s MS degree (which is in a field unrelated to climate research anyway).

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