Dem senator: Use RICO laws to prosecute global warming skeptics

Dem senator: Use RICO laws to prosecute global warming skeptics
Sheldon Whitehouse

Writing in the Washington Post, Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, offered a curious suggestion for dealing with global warming skeptics:

In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies’ fraudulent campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise. According to the court: “Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared objective — to … maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the public.”

[…]

I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke.

That’s right — a sitting U.S. Senator is suggesting using RICO laws should be applied to global warming skeptics.

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