Healey widens probe into climate skeptics at think tanks

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/06/15/healey-widens-probe-into-climate-skeptics-at-think-tanks/

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BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is the latest state prosecutor to start investigating conservative groups with supposed ties to ExxonMobil, after she issued a subpoena for 40 years of internal company documents and communications with a handful of think tanks.

Healey’s office subpoenaed Exxon as part of a multi-state effort among liberal attorneys general to investigate Exxon for allegedly trying to cover up global warming science. Healey charges that the oil giant lied to shareholders and consumers about the risks of global warming in its communications and shareholder filings, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Healey demands decades worth or records from prominent conservative think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation and activist group Americans for Prosperity, and also from smaller, lesser known state-focused right-leaning groups, such as Boston’s Beacon Hill Institute and the Acton Institute.

But there’s a huge problem with Healey’s subpoena that shows just how broad this investigation has become: At least two of the groups the subpoena demands records from haven’t received any money from Exxon.

Beacon Hill and Americans for Prosperity haven’t gotten any Exxon funding, but are still being targeted

Healey isn’t the first prosecutor to target conservative groups that disagree with most Democratic politicians on global warming policy. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker subpoenaed Exxon for records regarding dozens of conservative think tanks, policy experts and scientists in March.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into Exxon’s global warming stance in November, based on reporting by liberal journalists at InsideClimate News and Columbia University, saying that Exxon had been covering up in-house climate research for decades while funding right-wing activist groups.

Schneiderman hosted a conference in March with other AGs, including Healey and Walker, where it was announced that more prosecutors would probe Exxon and fight back against Republican attacks on federal environmental regulations.

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