19 Democratic Senators Submit Climate Change "Web of Denial" Concurrent Resolution

The solons will be denouncing "climate change denial" from the floor of the Senate for the next two days.



Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and 18 other democratic senators have introduced a concurrent resolution aimed at "expressing the sense of Congress relating to the disapproval of certain activities of certain companies, trade associations, foundations, and organizations." The resolution denounces the tobacco and lead industries for misleading the public about the safety of their products. But their real villain is the fossil fuel industry. The resolution declares:

Whereas in the case of fossil fuel companies and allied organizations— (1) according to peer-reviewed scientific research and investigative reporting, fossil fuel companies have long known about climate change and the harmful climate effects of their products; and (2) contrary to the scientific findings of the fossil fuel companies and of others about the danger fossil fuels pose to the climate, fossil fuel companies, directly and through their trade associations, and foundations—(A) developed a sophisticated and deceitful campaign that funded think tanks and front groups, and paid public relations firms to deny, counter, and obfuscate peer-reviewed research; and (B) used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress—(1) disapproves of activities by certain corporations, trade associations, foundations, and organizations funded by those corporations—(A) to deliberately mislead the public and undermine peer-reviewed scientific research about the dangers of their products; and (B) to deliberately cast doubt on science in order to protect their financial interests; and (2) urges fossil fuel companies and allied organizations to cooperate with active or future investigations into—(A) their climate-change related activities; (B) what they knew about climate change and when they knew that information; (C) what they knew about the harmful effects of fossil fuels on the climate; and (D) any activities to mislead the public about climate change.

According to the accompanying press release:

The Senators will each deliver remarks detailing how interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.

Interestingly, the Attorneys General United for Clean Energy are at least pretending that they are still investigating whether or not such a "massive campaign" existed. In a sort of Darkness at Noon burlesque, the senators have already identified and convicted the alleged cabal of climate change deniers and all that is lacking are their public confessions.

For more background, see my article "Free Speech and Climate Fraud Prosecution Follies."

Disclosure: Over the years I have worked with several groups targeted by the attorneys-general on a wide variety of public policy issues relevant to resisting government encroachments into free markets, mostly not having anything to do with climate change. And I still own 50 shares of ExxonMobil stock that I bought with my own money.