A growing number of energy companies could come under increased scrutiny over their involvement in funding science and public relations campaigns denying the risks of climate change.
The New York attorney general made news a few weeks ago when he announced an investigation into oil major ExxonMobil for its alleged cover up of climate science. The investigation is looking into the possibility that ExxonMobil funded and gathered hard science on climate change, and once coming to the inevitable conclusion that the burning of fossil fuels could lead to regulatory blowback, the oil major proceeded to bury the conclusions and instead fund climate-denying science to obfuscate and head off political action.
While the news could yet blow up into a significant scandal, for now it is too early to tell what the outcome could be. However, more companies could come under fire from a growing number of attorneys general over their involvement in similar practices. After all, ExxonMobil is only the largest in a long line of companies that have pushed back against climate change policy.
The money flowing from energy companies to anti-climate change think tanks and lobbying organizations is relatively well known, and the links between the two are not hard to find. Donations to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), for example, is one of the more infamous relationships between oil and climate change lobbying. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) says that ExxonMobil has donated at least $1.7 million to ALEC between 1998 and 2014, a figure that CMD says is conservative. ALEC, in turn, pushed a legislative agenda to cloud the science on climate change, lobbying lawmakers across the U. S. and sowing doubts about the science of climate change.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/30/2015.