I will testify this morning before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the controversy over dueling state and federal investigations involving the climate change debate. After various state attorneys general announced investigations of Exxon Company over its opposition to climate change theories (including subpoenas either to or concerning conservation public interest groups), the Committee issued its own subpoenas to the prosecutors and environmental public interest groups involved in the campaign. That has triggered a confrontation as the prosecutors and environmental groups raised constitutional objections to the House subpoenas. The full committee hearing will start at 10 am in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.
As I explain in my testimony below, I have been a long advocate for action in combating climate change and that I believe the failure to take such action will have dire consequences for our country. Indeed, I agree with President Barack Obama in his effort to pursue remedial measures on climate change and voted for him in 2008 in part due to his position on this issue. However, I have not been called as a scientific but as a constitutional expert. The use of the subpoena authority to compel the disclosure of information from state attorneys general raises a number of novel constitutional issues, and the objections raised by the attorneys general are not frivolous, particularly with regard to federalism and free speech concerns. However, in my view, their threshold challenge of congressional authority to force such disclosure is fundamentally flawed, and this Committee clearly has the authority under Article I of the Constitution to demand compliance with its subpoenas.
Appearing with me are fellow academics and friends. The order of testimony will be the following:
Prof. Jonathan Turley
J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University Law School
Prof. Ronald D. Rotunda
Doy and Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Prof. Charles Tiefer
Professor of Law, University of Baltimore; Former Acting General Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives
Prof. Elizabeth Price Foley
Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law
Here is my testimony: testimony-turley-house-science-final-version