By Annie Leonard and May Boeve
It's an unprecedented move to demand that 17 Attorneys General, as well as environmental and non-profit groups, including Greenpeace USA and 350.org, turn over internal documents and communications related to our work to expose Exxon's climate denial. But that's what Rep. Lamar Smith and other Republican members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology did a couple months back.
Greenpeace / Rex Curry
Every one of us has declined to comply, pointing out numerous troubling legal issues that the committee and Chairman Smith choose to ignore. Rep. Smith has continued to disregard these concerns, as well as our offer to engage in further dialogue, demanding our constitutionally protected communications. Communications that serve the public interest, unlike Chairman Smith's demands.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Smith is now trying a more aggressive approach, by issuing subpoenas to the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts and the same groups targeted in the first three rounds of over-reaching demands.
We have declined to comply with those subpoenas and here's why:
Constitutional Rights Violations
Chairman Smith and his Republican Committee colleagues bombastically claim that their crusade is to protect ExxonMobil's First Amendment rights, as well as those of so-called scientists and front groups that deny climate change. Actually, no one is restricting their freedom of speech. The Attorneys General investigations are aimed at determining whether or not Exxon committed fraud by sowing doubt about climate change after recent investigative reports confirmed that it has known for decades the serious dangers climate change posed.
At the same time, the Republican members of Congress behind this charade are in fact infringing on our freedom of speech. They are asking independent organizations dedicated to protecting the environment to disclose our constitutionally protected communications, in order to silence our voices about Exxon's role in climate denialism.
Ironic, isn't it?
Lack of Jurisdiction Over Ongoing Investigations
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has no right to meddle with investigations being conducted by state law enforcement authorities. The mandate of the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General is completely independent from the federal government. That's the basis of our democracy.
Investigations into Exxon must ensue; only then will the American people be closer to knowing the truth about what the company and the whole fossil fuel industry did to put their profits over people and the planet. We acknowledge and support the work these Attorneys General started based upon revelations from the media and non-profit organizations.
Vague, Overbroad and Unreasonably Burdensome Requests
Rep. Smith and other Committee Republicans are not asking for something specific—nor do they have a good reason for their demands. Rather, they have asked for all of our communications since 2012 relating to investigations into Exxon's colossal climate denial scheme. They're hoping it will take a very considerable amount of resources from our organizations to review and produce these documents.
This is a tactic from the corporate playbook to turn attention away from the actual investigations into Exxon and to make it too burdensome for non-profit organizations with limited resources, such as ours, to continue our cause.
As we have reiterated in our responses to Rep. Smith, we will always cooperate with any authorized and legitimate inquiry of Congress or anyone else. This is not one of those inquiries.
We demand accountability, not only from Exxon and its enablers on climate denial, but also of our elected representatives who seem to be protecting corporations over people's rights.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
- Best CBD Oils of 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oil for Pain Management - Top 10 CBD Oil Review 2020 ... ›
- Best CBD for Dogs 2020 - Organic CBD Oil for Pets - EcoWatch ›
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: What To Know - EcoWatch ›
- Charlotte's Web: A Review of the Certified B Corp CBD Brand ›
- Best CBD Waters: Plus All You Need to Know - EcoWatch ›
- The Best Water Soluble CBD Available Online - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD for Sleep (Lab-Tested, Person-Tested Oils) - EcoWatch ›
- CBD Oil for Dogs: 7 Benefits & Treatment Guide - EcoWatch ›
- NuLeaf Naturals CBD Review | Are They Worth The Cost? - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Capsules & Pills - Buyer's Guide (Update for 2021) - EcoWatch ›
- Because Price Matters: Most Affordable CBD Oils of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- Strongest CBD Oils to Buy in 2021? - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oils For Pain: Top 3 Brands of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Vape Pen: Top Brands of 2020 - EcoWatch ›