You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

breaking news

House approves controversial change to ‘sanctuary cities’ bill

Texas AG Ken Paxton sides with ExxonMobil in climate change case


Highlights

Paxton says Massachusetts and New York attorneys general are impinging on Exxon’s free speech rights.

Massachusetts and New York attorneys general say company may have deceived investors.

Paxton has intervened at least once before in ExxonMobil case.

Coming to the aid of a powerful Texas oil and gas company in a case involving climate change science, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed a brief in federal court in New York supporting ExxonMobil’s efforts to stave off an investigation by attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts.

Paxton’s friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues the ExxonMobil investigation has amounted to a fishing expedition that impinges on the company’s free speech protections.

Attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts and elsewhere, supported by environmental groups, said last year they would investigate whether the company lied to investors and the public about the threat of climate change.

Exxon is trying to block efforts by the Massachusetts and New York officials to subpoena company documents related to the marketing and sale of its products.

TEXAS POLITICS DELIVERED EVERY DAY: Sign up for our Texas Politics email

In their friend-of-the-court brief, Paxton and 10 other state attorneys general ask the court to side with Exxon.

“The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government witch-hunts such as this one, where officials use their authority and the threat of criminal prosecution to try and suppress speech on a viewpoint they disagree with,” Paxton said.

In his suit, Paxton writes: “Defendants falsely presume that the scientific debate regarding climate change is settled, along with the related and equally important debate on how to respond to what science has found.”

In fact, the vast majority of scientists who study the issue have said the climate is changing and industrial emissions play a part.

The other states who joined the amicus brief are Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Arkansas.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

The case marks at least the second time Paxton has intervened in the case on behalf of Exxon.

Last year, Paxton withdrew a lawsuit against the U.S. Virgin Islands attorney general after he agreed to suspend his investigation, which had included a far-reaching subpoena for ExxonMobil records that Paxton had argued was unconstitutional.

Earlier this year, Paxton said that he had sued after talking the matter over with other members of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

The Republican Attorneys General Association has received at least $110,000 from Exxon Mobil since 2014, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, and at least $2 million from the fossil fuel industry.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Tears, fights, horse-trading during debate on ‘sanctuary cities’ bill
Tears, fights, horse-trading during debate on ‘sanctuary cities’ bill

Lawmakers cried, fought and traded horses on the Texas House floor in a marathon debate Wednesday on the bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities, the common term for jurisdictions that decline to assist federal immigration enforcement. Calling it the defining showdown of this legislative session for their constituents and wearing black in protest, outnumbered...
Raucous crowd protests ‘sanctuary cities’ bill at Texas Capitol 
Raucous crowd protests ‘sanctuary cities’ bill at Texas Capitol 

Immigrant families as well as their friends and allies gathered at the Texas Capitol Wednesday evening, a crowd of several hundred dressed in black to protest a state bill that would ban so-called sanctuary cities. The Texas Senate has already approved the bill, and the House is taking up the bill today.  City Council Member Greg Casar, who...
Texas members of Congress differ on Trump tax plan
Texas members of Congress differ on Trump tax plan

“Pro-growth tax reform should be our goal, and it’s something that’s united Republicans and Democrats in the past, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be united again in accomplishing that tax reform. So I look forward to hearing more about the president’s proposal, and I applaud him for making a bold statement about...
Austin school officer who scuffled with eighth-grader faces grand jury
Austin school officer who scuffled with eighth-grader faces grand jury

In the first case under a new system for handling possible police misconduct, Travis County prosecutors have begun presenting a case to grand jurors against a former Austin school district officer captured on video in a physical confrontation with a middle school student. Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore confirmed the case to the...
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vows to push for charter school funding
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vows to push for charter school funding

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on Wednesday that he would push for more money for Texas charter schools during budget negotiations between the House and Senate. Officials from public charter schools, which are privately operated, have been pleading for the last few legislative sessions for more funding to help them build and maintain facilities. Unlike...
More Stories