Center for American Progress Action

STATEMENT: Rep. Lamar Smith Intensifies Witch Hunt & Ignores States’ Rights
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Science Committee held a hearing with a panel of “experts” who deny the science behind that climate change. Spearheaded by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), the hearing is part of an ongoing crusade against state attorneys general who are probing ExxonMobil Corp. for defrauding its shareholders and customers by misleading the public on the dangers of climate change.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Executive Director, Angie Kelley, issued the following statement:

“Congressman Smith is carrying out a witch hunt against attorneys general who are doing their jobs by investigating a powerful entity that – like the tobacco companies of the past – seemingly sought to cover up information crucial to the American public’s safety. Today’s hearing is a continuation that not only wrongly amplifies the rhetoric of climate deniers, but also ignores a state’s right to take action under its laws. There is a separation of powers that cannot and should not be undermined.

“Equally troubling, 70 percent of Republicans on the committee are climate deniers and, in total, have received nearly $4 million in campaign contributions from the dirty energy industry. The math is a stark warning to their constituencies and the greater public. It’s time Chairman Smith abandon this crusade.”

For more information, see “House Committee Ignores States’ Rights by Interfering with Exxon Mobil Climate Denial Probe” by Billy Corriher, Director of Research for the Center of American Progress.

To find out how much congressional climate deniers have received from oil, gas and coal industries, view yesterday’s press release and our interactive map with updated figures and analysis.