Climate Science Misrepresented by Texas Attorney General

Silencing Science Tracker

Climate Science Misrepresented by Texas Attorney General

In April 2017, Texas Attorney Ken Paxton, along with several other state Attorneys General, filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief supports Exxon Mobil’s challenge to a subpoena issued by the Attorney General of New York and a civil investigative demand (CID) issued by the Attorney General of Massachusetts. The subpoena and CID, issued as part of an ongoing investigation into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about the risks posed by climate change, seek company documents relating to the marketing and sale of its products. Exxon Mobil sought relief from complying with the subpoena and CID, claiming bad faith on the part of the New York and Massachusetts Attorney Generals, as well as violations of its constitutional rights.

Texas and several other states filed an amicus brief in support of Exxon Mobil’s claims. The brief asserts, among other things, that the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General “falsely presume that the scientific debate regarding climate change is settled.” It questions whether the majority of scientists agree that climate change is occurring and, in particular, that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.” Most scientists do, however, agree that climate change will have widespread negative impacts and that action is urgently required to prevent those impacts.

The amicus brief was co-filed by AlabamaArkansasArizonaLouisianaMichiganNebraskaOklahomaSouth Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Update: In June 2018, following a hearing in Exxon Mobile v. Schneiderman, Attorney General Paxton issued a statement suggesting that climate change may not be caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The Attorney General wrote:’

“It is absurd to place the blame for climate change on only a few energy companies in America when the root causes of climate change are complex and not fully understood.”


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