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  • Published in Fox News

SLAPPed in the climate change debate

In an op-ed at FoxNews, Curt Levey writes that while the nation's campuses are hosts to the most prominent battles in the war on free speech, "equally ominous is a campaign ... to use criminal and civil laws to punish fossil fuel companies for expressing doubts about the inevitability of catastrophic climate change." New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's investigation of Exxon Mobil, ostensibly for failing to adequately warn investors about the financial risks posed by climate change, is perhaps the most disturbing example.

Levey points out that Schneiderman's investigation "is akin to a SLAPP suit (a strategic lawsuit against public participation), which by definition, is aimed not at a legal victory but at silencing one's opponents in a public debate through intimidation and the burden of legal costs."

Mr. Levey argues that:

"While Schneiderman is entitled to champion a vision of climate doom, he is not entitled to use the laws against securities fraud to silence those with a different vision. ... There is little doubt