I’ve never been too concerned about Greenpeace and other environmental organizations piling on ExxonMobil for sponsoring research (or for that matter propaganda) skeptical of global warming. I just figure this is the normal give-and-take of various rent-seekers jostling in the public square, and think the world’s largest industrial corporation can probably take care of itself.
But buried in a recent ABC report on one of these tussles is the following fact that I find chilling:
“A just-released letter to Tillerson from Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., calls on Exxon to provide lawmakers with the amount and purpose of every corporate grant it awarded in 2006, along with other documents. “The company’s support of climate skeptics, many of whom have no real grounding in climate science, appears to be an effort to distort public discussion about global warming,” wrote Miller, who serves as chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology. “I hope that the company has moved away from support for public policy advocates who attempt to twist and distort the scientific record.”
So Congress (or at least one member) has decided that it has determined a correct scientific result, and that demurring from this consensus will “distort public discussion” and support an “incorrect” political position. Therefore, of course, Congress will investigate and harass any sizable organization that commits such a thought crime.