U.S. House Committee to Investigate MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

(L: Rex W. Tillerson credit: ExxonMobil Corporate; R: AG Lori Swanson credit: MN Attorney Generals Office)

Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson joined 16 other State Attorney Generals around the country in the fight against Exxon Mobil.

Exxon Mobil was originally being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, stating that the company lied to both the public and its investors about the dangers of climate change.

One columnist at the New York Post summed up the investigation as a “witch-hunt.” Lowry, the author of the article states that fraud charges stem from the groups different point of views on climate change than that of Exxon Mobil. Lowry states that Green 20, or the historical coalition that AG Swanson is a part of “shouldn’t be entrusted with the power of a meter maid, let alone a top position in law enforcement.”

Congress has decided to take matters into its own hands and investigate the attorney generals involved in the original investigation of Exxon. Congressman Lamar Smith (R – Texas), who is the chairman of the House Science Committee, has requested all communications between the Schneiderman’s office and the climate change activists since 2012.

Legal experts are siding with Exxon stating that there is no legal reasoning for the investigations and that Exxon’s belief and statements about climate change potentially fall under the First Amendment.

Credit: The American Experiment
Credit: The American Experiment

The House Science Committee also sent a letter to Attorney General Lori Swanson on May 18th, 2016 requesting copies of all correspondence she has had with pro-climate change organizations, stating that she has potentially abused her power of prosecutorial discretion. AG Swanson has until May 30, 2016, to turn over all documents to the House Committee. There is no word on whether AG Swanson has complied with the order.

The Minnesota Progressive Project has applauded AG Swanson for her role in the Green 20 coalition. They state that “Exxon’s role in misleading the public and investors has lead to only 64% of the public believing in climate change compared to 97% of climate scientists.”


Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.