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Author Topic: Fossil Fuels: Degraded Democracy and Profit Over Planet Pollution  (Read 7640 times)

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AGelbert

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Bernie Sanders Slams Trump: 'We Will Fight You Every Step of the Way'

SNIPPET:

President Donald Trump's executive order to wipe out President Barack Obama's climate legacy was met with widespread opposition from, well, just about anyone who cares about clean air and water.

In response to Tuesday's order, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted, "Mr. Trump, you cannot run a government by rejecting science. Listen to the scientific community, not the CEOs of the fossil fuel industry."

http://www.ecowatch.com/sanders-slam-trump-climate-2334741083.html





Süddeutsche Zeitung


German environment minister warns: America is harming itself

Following the executive order by US President Donald Trump to repeal former president Barack Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks warned the US against “making a stand against technologic and economic change,” Michael Bauchmüller and Sacha Batthyany write in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Anyone trying to go into reverse" would only harm their own international competitiveness, Hendricks told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

manager magazin Online

Donald Trump’s energy policy killing spree

For a long time, Germany's insistence on the energy transition raised eyebrows, Nils-Viktor Sorge writes in an opinion piece for manager magazine Online. Six years on from the Fukushima disaster, it's the USA that increasingly looks like the odd man out, Sorge argues, as Donald Trump embarks on an emotionally driven "energy policy killing spree". If Trump “gets away with it,” the biggest loser - besides the climate - will be the US itself, Sorge writes. Trump’s “abstruse pro-coal campaign slogans” will impede innovative US companies and help their counterparts in China, which is actively pushing to modernise its energy system.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/newsletter/env-min-usa-harms-itself-new-energy-policy-rwe-bets-coal



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AGelbert

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YES, this belongs here (SEE CVR Energy and Trump "advisor" NOT BOUND BY ETHICS  RULES OR CONFLICT OF INTEREST LAWS).

https://youtu.be/xQlfE2U1Bco

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Atlanta not doing too good these days with their road infrastructure.  ::)

RE

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/north-south-now-east-west-atlanta-highway-closes-46846491

Atlanta: Concrete highway rupture sends motorcyclist flying

    By The Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. — Apr 17, 2017, 5:52 PM ET


This photo shows a portion of Interstate 20 that buckled because of an underground gas leak in Atlanta. (Eric Stirgus/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)


Another major highway through Atlanta was partially shut down on Monday, this one after underground utility work caused the pavement to rise up, break apart and send a passing motorcyclist flying through the air.

While the east-west highway could reopen as soon as Tuesday, the rupture proved to be another headache for Atlanta area motorists already struggling with the collapse of an overpass on a key north-south route.

Witnesses said the motorcyclist was riding in the carpool lane when the pavement suddenly rose up in front of him. Others rushed to his aid. DeKalb County spokesman Andrew Cauthen said he was hospitalized with multiple fractures.

The buckling was caused by a utility crew using machinery to bore a new natural gas pipeline under Interstate 20, authorities said.

DeKalb County police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said a pipeline being filled with concrete ruptured, and the concrete was forced upward.

The pressure the pavement to rise and break apart, creating a mound as high as six feet (two meters) or more in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane.

"Work was being performed in the area on behalf of Atlanta Gas Light," company spokeswoman Melissa Clontz said. "This incident was not caused by and did not involve the release of natural gas."

County spokeswoman Sarah Page said all westbound lanes were closed until further notice several miles southeast of downtown Atlanta. Westbound traffic was being diverted at Interstate 285, the city's perimeter highway.

Repair crews were inspecting the area with ground-penetrating radar, said Natalie Dale, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

She said they are hoping to have a few of the adjacent lanes open Monday evening and the entire road open by noon on Tuesday.

This latest infrastructure problem added hassles to commutes already complicated by the collapse last month of an overpass on Interstate 85, due to a fire that police say was intentionally set.

Fossil fuels, the "gift" that never stops "giving it to us with both barrels"....

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AGelbert

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Bill McKibben: Trudeau's Pipeline Push Makes Him a Disaster for the Climate

By Bill McKibben April 17, 2017

Donald Trump is so spectacularly horrible that it's hard to look away (especially now that he's discovered bombs). But precisely because everyone's staring gape-mouthed in his direction, other world leaders are able to get away with almost anything. Don't believe me? Look one nation north, at Justin Trudeau.

Look all you want, in fact—he sure is cute, the planet's only sovereign leader who appears to have recently quit a boy band. And he's mastered so beautifully the politics of inclusion: compassionate to immigrants, insistent on including women at every level of government. Give him great credit where it's deserved: in lots of ways he's the anti-Trump, and it's no wonder Canadians swooned when he took over.

But when it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, he's a brother to the old orange guy in DC.

Not rhetorically. Trudeau says all the right things, over and over. He's got no Scott Pruitts in his cabinet. Everyone who works for him says the right things. Indeed, they specialize in getting others to say them too—it was Canadian diplomats, and the country's environment minister Catherine McKenna, who pushed at the Paris climate talks for a tougher-than-expected goal: holding the planet's rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But those words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon and selling it to people to burn, and that's exactly what Trudeau is doing. He's hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the U.S. to carry yet more oil out of Alberta's tar sands, which is one of the greatest climate disasters on the planet.

Last month, speaking at a Houston petroleum industry gathering, he got a standing ovation from the oilmen for saying "No country would find 173bn barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there."

That is to say Canada, which represents one-half of one percent of the planet's population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth's remaining carbon budget. That is to say, Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he's not a stunning hypocrite.

Yes, 173bn barrels is indeed the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. So let's do some math. If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30 percent of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5 degree target that Canada helped set in Paris.

This having-your-cake-and-burning-it-too is central to Canada's self-image/energy policy. McKenna, confronted by Canada's veteran environmentalist David Suzuki, said tartly, "We have an incredible climate change plan that includes putting a price on carbon pollution, also investing in clean innovation. But we also know we need to get our natural resources to market and we're doing both." Right.

But doing the second negates the first—in fact, it completely overwhelms it. If Canada is busy shipping carbon all over the world, it doesn't matter all that much if every Tim Horton's stopped selling donuts and started peddling solar panels instead.

Canada's got company in this scam. Australia's Malcolm Turnbull is supposed to be more sensitive than his predecessor, a Trump-like blowhard. When he signed on his nation to the Paris climate accords, he said, "It is clear the agreement was a watershed, a turning point and the adoption of a comprehensive strategy has galvanized the international community and spurred on global action."

Which is a fine thing to say, or would be, if your government wasn't backing plans for the largest coal mine on earth. That single mine, in a country of 20 million, will produce 362 percent of the annual carbon emissions that everyone in the Philippines produces in the course of a year. It is, obviously, mathematically and morally absurd.

Trump, of course, is working just as eagerly to please the fossil fuel industry—he's instructed the Bureau of Land Management to make permitting even easier for new oil and gas projects, for instance. And frackers won't even have to keep track of how much methane they're spewing under his new guidelines. And why should they? If you believe, as Trump apparently does, that global warming is a delusion, a hoax, a mirage, you might as well get out of the way.

Trump's insulting the planet, in other words. But at least he's not pretending otherwise.

http://www.ecowatch.com/trudeau-pipeline-push-climate-2365186512.html
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AGelbert

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Confirmation that the fossil Fuel Industry OWNS TRUMP (LAVISHLY funded Inauguration)   
 


We Now Know Who Funded Trump's Inauguration

Exxon, Chevron and other fossil fuel interests wrote big checks to fund President Trump's inaugural festivities, according to Federal Election Commission filings released Wednesday.

Contributions from the energy industry totaled more than $7 million, with Hess Corp CEO John Hess donating $1 million, Exxon, Chevron, BP and Citgo Petroleum each chipping in $500k. Coal company Murray Energy, which gave enthusiastically to the Trump campaign while simultaneously laying off workers, threw in $300k.

For many of these donors, the early months of the Trump administration have been particularly fruitful: Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, who donated $250k, saw the president sign an executive memo ordering the construction of the ETP-owned Dakota Access Pipeline merely four days after the inauguration.

More than 1,500 corporate and individual funders for the inauguration raised $107 million all together—twice as much as Barack Obama's inauguration raised in 2009, and more than any other inaugural event in history.

http://www.ecowatch.com/

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AGelbert

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I calculated a couple of years ago that the value of all the estimated recoverable crude oil in all the oil fields in the world was only worth 20 trillion USD or so at current prices. This did not include tight oil only recoverable with fracking, but it's a number that says a lot about the debt level and the likelihood of it ever being paid back.

We are all dead if they even get to burn a tenth of that oil...




But we get to die from lots of other profit over planet  reasons even before that.   :P

Here’s where you’re most likely to die from air pollution

But don't worry, Pruitt and Trump have a plan....
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100 Days Into the "For-Profit Presidency"   

Published on Apr 27, 2017

On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses Trump’s first 100 days in office and whether he’s turned government into a business with Susan Harley of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. Then, Thom talks to Rob Mariani of the Daily Caller and Vien Truong of Green for All about Trump’s plan to renegotiate NAFTA and California lawmakers moving forward with a single-payer health plan.
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Is A Republican Rift Forming? ??? 3 Republican Senators Break With The Pollution Party On Methane Rule  8)

May 10th, 2017 by Zachary Shahan

SNIPPET:

Members of the Republican Party sitting in Congress have been particularly good at sticking with the “party line” on a wide range of issues — even when that means pouring more pollution into their constituents’ throats, working to increase the number of superstorms that slam the East Coast and the dramatic droughts that destroy the Southwest, voting through health care bills or amendments that make it much more expensive for normal Americans to get health care (apparently, just so the richest among us can keep more money in overinflated bank accounts), and pretending Donald Trump’s potentially corrupt connections and actions in regard to Russia wouldn’t have their faces exploding with range if it had been Obama in such a situation.

There are many issues on which Republicans in Congress vote against the preferences of their constituents simply because that’s what the party leaders say they need to do, but there may be no topic where this is more the case than the topic of energy.


Pollution industries (coal, oil, and gas) send nearly 100% of their political cash to Republicans.


It’s a strikingly one-sided story for them. Incidentally, the Republican Party votes on the side of these pollution industries nearly 100% of the time. And by “Republican Party,” that basically means every single Republican. The thing is, even if some sensible, science-respecting, health-concerned, humanity-loving Republicans want to vote on the side of clean air and a livable climate, they know that the Koch Brothers, Chevron, Exxon, or other pollution giants will heavily fund a Republican primary challenger to remove them from Congress if they break rank. Among other reasons, this is likely a core reason why these cowardly politicians don’t follow their own moral compass.

Frankly, I think Democrats would be wise to put a lot more attention on this matter and label the GOP the “Pollution Party,” but I’m not sure if I have the connections needed to get that message across. (That said, Bernie Sanders did share one of our stories on Facebook yesterday!)

The good news is that some Republicans in Congress seem to be growing a moral backbone on the greatest threat to the human race … maybe. As Steve wrote the other day, there’s now a Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress. It is bringing together both Democrats and Republicans who want to work on stopping global warming.


https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/10/republican-rift-forming-3-republican-senators-break-pollution-party-methane-rule/
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Krugman Talks About The Great Betrayal Today, Must Read - with Extra Background here.

By xaxnar   

Friday May 12, 2017 · 11:21 AM EDT

 35   Comments  (29 New)   

#CharlesPPierce #ConMen #HeritageFoundation #JaneMayer #MitchMcConnell
 
#movementconservatism #NewYorkTimes #OntheMedia #PaulKrugman
 
#PaulWeyrich #PowellMemo #Recommended #RickPerlstein #SnakeOil
 
#WAMC #Wisconsin #WNYC #DarkMoney #PaulRyan #TheBaffler
 
#theLongCon #RewritingTheRight

Paul Krugman pulls no punches with Judas, Tax Cuts and the Great Betrayal.

The denarius, ancient Rome’s silver coin, was supposedly the daily wageof a manual worker. If so, the tax cuts that the richest 1 percent of Americans will receive if the Affordable Care Act is repealed — tax cuts that are, obviously, the real reason for repeal — would amount to the equivalent of around 500 pieces of silver each year.

What inspired this calculation? The spectacle of Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, defending Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey.

Modern conservatives are obsessed with cutting taxes. It’s the one thing they always try to do regardless of whatever other hobby horses they might be riding. So…

So here’s where we stood as of Thursday evening: 138 Democrats and independents had called for the appointment of a special prosecutor; just one Republican had joined that call. Another 84 Democrats had called for an independent investigation, joined by only six Republicans.

At this point, in other words, almost an entire party appears to have decided that potential treason in the cause of tax cuts for the wealthy is no vice. And that’s barely hyperbole.

emphasis added

Read the Whole Thing.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/opinion/judas-tax-cuts-and-the-great-betrayal.html


So How Did We Get Here? ???

Late last night, I caught a radio show via my local NPR station which was re-airing the latest episode of WNYC’s On The Media: Rewriting The Right. The portion of the show that really hit home was a segment with Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. We are where we are today, because as Mayer explains, we’re at the end of the long game played by the wealthy going back a hundred years to the 16th Amendment and the imposition of the income tax. From the show description,

Although the Republican healthcare bill is still a long way from being a law, its passage in the House of Representatives was seen as a victory for conservative orthodoxy, a triumph in the name of limited government, states rights and lowered taxes. But this orthodoxy did not spring up with the election of Trump or with Paul Ryan's ascension to Speaker of the House. Rather, conservative billionaires have worked for decades to develop a sturdy infrastructure -- from think tanks to the media to academia to churches -- to help propagate conservative ideology and protect their interests.

emphasis added

Listen to the audio at the link. It’s compelling. (It also demonstrates why conservatives are determined to stamp out public radio and public TV — they have this thing about turning up inconvenient truths.)
http://www.wnyc.org/story/on-the-media-2017-05-05/

The short version is that the wealthy accepted paying income taxes — barely —  only when they were given the option of making charitable contributions in lieu of taxes to the government they did not support. It’s how we ended up with things like the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller foundation. The original intent was to do public good without an overt political agenda — produce objective policy research, fund worthy endeavors, etc.

Over time that changed, and Mayer explains how and when, going back to the creation of the Heritage Foundation among others and things like the Powell memo. Scholarly institutions were weaponized into propaganda mills and centers of radical political activism. The web of dark money has spread across the land reaching into every corner. (Charles P. Pierce has a case study here.)

And the thing is, this is largely invisible to the public and the press unless something outrageous draws attention for a moment or two. Democrats focus on big races; Republicans are in it for the long haul — and they’re there now.

And if you’re wondering why so much of the conservative movement has attracted con men engaging in outright fraud and other chicanery, it’s the natural result of billionaires looking to throw their money around, and the marks they’re targeting. Honey draws flies; so does bullshit. Both are in over supply in movement conservatism. Rick Perlstein’s The Long Con has been out for a while but it’s still very relevant. While he was talking about Mitt Romney at the time, this quote is even more pertinent today:


...Publics are amorphous, protean, fuzzy; they don’t leave behind neat documentary trails. Studying the leaders they choose helps us see them more sharply. Political theorist James MacGregor Burns’s classic book Leadership explains that “leadership over human beings is exercised when persons with certain motives and purposes mobilize, in competition or conflict with others, institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse, engage, and satisfy the motives of followers . . . in order to realize goals mutually held by both leaders and followers.” Watching charismatic people try to seize their attention and win their allegiance becomes the intellectual whetstone. As political psychologist Harold Lasswell once put it, a successful aspirant to leadership is one whose “private motives are displaced onto public objects and rationalized in terms of public interest.” Watching those private motives at work, the public they seek to convince comes into focus.

All righty, then: both the rank-and-file voters and the governing elites of a major American political party chose as their standardbearer a pathological liar. What does that reveal about them?

emphasis added

If you wonder how people like Ryan and McConnell expect to get away with what they’re doing, Perlstein gives you a look into the world they’re coming from. Mayer talks about Paul Weyrich and his role in the Heritage Foundation; Perlstein shows you what he does.

...Following the standard scare-mongering playbook of the fundraising Right, Weyrich launched his appeal with some horrifying eventuality that sounded both entirely specific and hair-raisingly imminent (“all-out assault on our traditional family structure”—or, in the case of a 1976 pitch signed by Senator Jesse Helms, taxpayer-supported “grade school courses that teach our children that cannibalism, wife swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior”; or, to take one from not too long ago, the white-slavery style claim that “babies are being harvested and sold on the black market by Planned Parenthood”).

And…

Weyrich’s letter concludes by proposing an entirely specific, real-world remedy: slaying the wicked can easily be hastened for the low, low price of a $5, $10, or $25 contribution from you, the humble citizen-warrior.

These are bedtime stories, meant for childlike minds. Or, more to the point, they are in the business of producing childlike minds. Conjuring up the most garishly insatiable monsters precisely in order to banish them from underneath the bed, they aim to put the target to sleep.

To get back to Paul Krugman, the Great Betrayal is in the DNA of movement conservatism. It is founded on fraud, lies, and promises they have no intention of keeping. It is the selling of snake oil on steroids. It has been made possible by a systematic dumbing down of America, a war on rational thought in the service of “the gut” which is easily led around by the nose and bumfoozled.

And it will continue until we openly acknowledge it and move to fight back. They’ve spent decades on this; rolling it back won’t happen overnight or with one “wave election”. We have to strike deeper, fight harder, and we must persist. Eternal vigilance, because it’s never over.

Resist.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/5/12/1661605/-Krugman-Talks-About-The-Great-Betrayal-Today-Must-Read-with-Extra-Background-here#comment_66462733
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AGelbert

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Quote
The Great Betrayal is in the DNA of movement conservatism. It is founded on fraud, lies, and promises they have no intention of keeping. It is the selling of snake oil on steroids. It has been made possible by a systematic dumbing down of America, a war on rational thought in the service of “the gut” which is easily led around by the nose and bumfoozled.

And it will continue until we openly acknowledge it and move to fight back. They’ve spent decades on this; rolling it back won’t happen overnight or with one “wave election”. We have to strike deeper, fight harder, and we must persist. Eternal vigilance, because it’s never over.

"Bumfoozled." Perfect.

Rust never sleeps.

Quote of the year.


Yup. But the sheer criminality, malice and aforethought of even coming up with this "strategy" boggles the mind.

I listened to that radio show I posted about earlier and the portion where Jane Meyer describes  the step by step MENS REA of these Capitalist Republican bastard "think tanks" (MOSTLY FUNDED BY THE FOSSIL FUEL "industry"  subsidy welfare queens ) to twist. lie and distort the truth to serve profit over people and planet is enough, in a sane society, to put them in prison for a LONG TIME, after all their ill gotten assets are stripped from them, of course.  ;D

Jane Mayer   on the Rise of Conservative Orthodoxy

http://www.wnyc.org/story/on-the-media-2017-05-05/

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Russian Oil Billionaires, Trump World, Russian Hacking, & Firing FBI Director Comey … For Democracy?

 


May 15th, 2017 by Zachary Shahan

Agelbert NOTE: This must read article has two videos and eye opening graphics about the true motive behind Trump and Republican profit over people and planet nefarious actions. Don't forget to feast on the full article at the link following the snippet.

SNIPPET:

As much as we like to think of the United States as a clean democracy, one of our two political parties is all in with the oil & gas industry. Almost all political funding from the US oil & gas industry goes to the Republican Party. The Republican Party, meanwhile, votes on energy, air, climate, and water issues as if it is a heartless Chevron robot voting on these things.

The US is not a petrostate, but the Republican Party — which is now in control of the presidency, the House of Representatives, and Congress — treats any related policies as if the US is a petrostate (and should remain one). For all effective purposes, what’s the difference when Republicans are in power?

Think of the fact that longtime ExxonMobil CEO and “Friend of Russia” Rex Tillerson is now US Secretary of State (that’s not more suspicious than Hillary Clinton using a convenient private server set up for her former president husband, eh?), the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now Scott Pruitt (a man who let oil companies write letters for him to send to the EPA when he was attorney general of Oklahoma and who repeatedly sued the EPA), and the head of the Department of Energy (DOE) is a former governor of oil & gas state Texas who has financial ties to the oil & gas industry and vowed as a presidential candidate in 2015 to eliminate the DOE if he was elected president.

Does that not sound like a petrostate to you? 

How would a petrostate kleptocracy act differently than the Republican Party and Donald Trump are operating today?   

Despite all the hype about American patriotism and democracy, is it really a surprise that the oil-soaked Republican Party and Russia-friendly Donald Trump are acting as the political arm of ExxonMobil and Russia’s oil billionaires?     


And is it really surprising that Republican “leadership” in Congress  has essentially let Donald Trump get away with firing Republican FBI Director Jim Comey just as the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia seemed to be heating up?   


After all, as Susan wrote in December, “What’s Good for Putin is Good for ExxonMobil.”

Again, bike or drive electric, and don’t vote Republican — work to dismantle oil-soaked corruption, kleptocracies, and autocracies around the world, including in the USA. It’s sort of a big deal.

MORE:
:o  :o

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/15/russian-oil-russian-billions-trump-world-russian-hacking-fbi-director-firing-democracy/



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Exxon loses in court and must turn over documents to NY AG Schneiderman  ;D

By DWG 
Wednesday May 24, 2017 · 12:45 PM EDT

Exxon must now submit to a document proctological exam conducted by NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. From Reuters:

May 23 A New York state appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Exxon Mobil Corp should be compelled to turn over records in an investigation into how much the company knew about global warming as it continued to publicly downplay the effects it was expected to have on the fossil fuel industry.

Exxon has been battling subpoenas from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is probing the company for fraud in its public statements about climate change. The appeals court upheld a lower court's decision, rejecting Exxon's argument that the court did not properly consider which state's laws on turning over evidence in an investigation should apply in the case. The investigation is taking place in New York, but Exxon's headquarters are in Texas.

This is a big deal.


In his filing in federal court on Friday, Schneiderman revealed his office had interviewed witnesses who could help them learn more about the kind of records Exxon might have showing internal discussions about climate change. He described the move as an attempt to keep Exxon from destroying relevant records before they were required to be turned over in the investigation.
Here is a familiar name:

The investigation has already led to one public revelation: that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson , who until December was chief executive of Exxon, used a separate email address and an alias, "Wayne Tracker," to discuss climate change-related issues while at the company.     


Eric Schneiderman for president in 2020. 



http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/5/24/1665585/-Exxon-loses-in-court-and-must-turn-over-documents-to-NY-AG-Schneiderman

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
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