EXXON'S DEFENDER: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Thirteen Republican attorneys general, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
, are defending Exxon and big oil
against their role in a disinformation campaign about climate change
The Republicans have signed a letter
aimed at Democratic officials investigating reports that Big Oil knew about the potential impact of burning of fossil fuels on the environment for decades, yet worked to spread contrary and misleading arguments.
Rutledge and the others have adopted Exxon's argument that efforts to obtain their documents on the issue amounts to an offense to the First Amendment. Those investigating have responded that the First Amendment doesn't give the right to conceal fraud.
The Republicans have signed a letter that says if the group pursuing Exxon is to continue, it should also investigate clean energy companies. Those fighting for cleaner air responded:
May Boeve, executive director of environmental group 350.org, was among those who slammed the Republican Attorney Generals’ letter. She said Exxon refuses to “turn from its destructive deception on climate change,” even in the face of record-breaking temperatures.
“Whether it’s trying to block Attorney General [Maura] Healey’s investigation in Massachusetts or orchestrating coordinated attacks from Republican attorneys general across the country,” Boeve said in a statement, “it’s clear that Exxon’s only interest is in maintaining the status quo of its business model — planet and people be damned.”
Rutledge's entry on Exxon's side is no surprise. She's been a steadfast opponent of environmental regulation and anything that she thinks would discourage burning of fossil fuel.
ADDENDUM: Here's some background on the c
orporate crackpottery the Republicans including Rutledge are trying to produce.