July 26, 2016

Science Group Rejects Lamar Smith Subpoena

WASHINGTON (July 26, 2016)—The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will not turn over documents demanded in a subpoena issued by House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The subpoena orders UCS to deliver—by noon tomorrow—all of its communications with state attorneys general and other nonprofits “related to the issue of climate change.” Smith also subpoenaed state attorneys general from New York and Massachusetts, as well as seven other non-profits. The New York state attorney general announced today he will not comply with the subpoena.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The subpoena is an intimidation tactic that serves no legitimate public purpose, and it is unlawful.

“We’ve been transparent about our work exposing ExxonMobil’s efforts to confuse the public and its shareholders about the climate risks of its products. Our documents and materials are on our website, and our offer from July 13 to brief the committee, with minority members present, still stands.

“As we have shown repeatedly in correspondence with Chairman Smith, the committee has no jurisdiction to issue this subpoena and it violates our First Amendment rights.

“Mr. Smith makes no allegation that UCS violated any laws or regulations, and his claim, that providing information to attorneys general infringes on ExxonMobil’s rights, is nonsense. We will not comply with this subpoena so that we, and other advocacy groups, whatever their political perspectives or substantive agendas, are free to exercise the birthright of all Americans—the right to freely speak, to associate freely with whom we choose, and to petition the government.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.