The climate lobby in the US is instigating a crackdown on dissenters, with several states looking at using the law to punish companies who stray from their view on global warming. Stood side by side with Al Gore, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that state officials intend to investigate whether fossil fuel conglomerates like ExxonMobil can be charged with fraud for doubting the extent of climate change. Schneiderman says:
“If there are companies, whether they’re utilities, whether they’re fossil fuel companies, committing fraud in an effort to maximize their short-term profits at the expense of the people we represent…we want to expose it and want to pursue them to the fullest extent of the law…The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”
How are they planning to prevent the First Amendment right to free speech from protecting climate-dissenting companies? By using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO, and made famous for bringing down top Mafia dons and other organized crime figures. Dissenting companies would be charged as having violated RICO by committing fraud, lumped in with mob bosses running protection rackets, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Which group sound like the ones running a protection racket to you?