MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) — Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has announced he has led a 13-state coalition urging the nation's S. attorneys general not to use subpoena powers against energy industries during the climate change debate.
“State attorneys general should not abuse subpoena power to silence speech or side with one industry against a competitor under investigation,” Strange said. “Yet we have seen this very approach used by a group of attorneys general in an apparent effort to advance a climate change agenda. This is a chilling abuse of power that must be stopped.”
In a "Dear Colleague" letter, the coalition detailed their worry that using subpoena powers undermines the trust people have in attorneys general to look into fraud cases. The letter notes some attorneys general have issued subpoenas to at least one company and one non-profit that allegedly made statements minimizing climate change risk. The coalition questions how one company’s minimizing of climate change risk can be fraud, yet another’s exaggeration of climate change impact is not.
“First, this fraud investigation targets only ‘fossil fuel companies’ and only statements minimizing climate change risks,” the coalition stated. “If it is possible to minimize the risks of climate change, then the same goes for exaggeration. If minimization is fraud, exaggeration is fraud.”
Strange was joined in drafting the "Dear Colleague" letter by attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.