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California Dems back attorney general's Exxon investigation

California Dems back attorney general's Exxon investigation
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Nineteen Democratic members of California’s congressional delegation are encouraging their attorney general to continue her investigation into ExxonMobil Corp.’s climate science. 

In a letter to Attorney General and Senate candidate Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden to record video message for 'Vax Live' concert Harris says Mexico, US can work together to improve quality of life in Northern Triangle Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says 'it is time to pass the baton on to someone else' MORE (D), the Democrats said they were “supportive of your investigation” into allegations that Exxon misled the public about what it knew about climate change. 

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They said a probe from House Science Committee Chairman Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithEx-officers acquitted in beating of Black colleague who was undercover at St. Louis protests Bottom line In partisan slugfest, can Chip Roy overcome Trump troubles? MORE (R-Texas) into the validity of the investigation amounts to “baseless allegations against you” that “are nothing more than part of his continued agenda to assault climate science.”

“If ExxonMobil and other oil companies hid the science of climate change and embarked on a massive campaign of public deception, the American people deserve to know,” the members, led by Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocrats, activists blast Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide Overnight Defense: Top Pentagon nominee advances after Harris casts tie-breaker | Air Force general charged with sexual assault first to face court-martial | House passes bill to limit Saudi arms sales MORE (D-Calif.), wrote in their letter.

Harris is one of a score of state attorneys general looking into Exxon, and was one of the first to launch an investigation into the company after news articles about the oil giant's climate science came out late last year.

Exxon has denied that it covered up its studies into climate change. GOP members of Congress and oil-state attorneys general have said the investigations amount to a violation of the company’s free speech rights, and Smith asked many of the investigating attorneys general last month to report to him on potential collusion during their probes.

"The actions of the attorneys general and the environmental activist groups have the potential to chill the scientific process," he said in a statement earlier this month.

Many of the attorneys general declined Smith’s request, with Harris’s office calling it “inaccurate and unfortunate.” 

In their letter, the California Democrats backed her position.

“We support your investigation into whether ExxonMobil lied about the truth of climate change and misled investors, and we denounce Chairman Smith’s actions as a flagrant abuse of power,” they wrote.