Last Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology announced that it is sending subpoenas to the offices of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts, and also to a number of environmental groups.

The Committee is seeking records related to the Attorneys General Exxon investigation, which is looking at whether the company deceived investors and the public about what it knew about climate change and Exxon’s potential role in aggravating its impacts.  The Committee’s chair said he is concerned that the Attorneys General may be pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech.

A number of legal experts have expressed skepticism about the legal underpinning of the states’ investigations, because the company’s statements regarding climate science likely falls within its First Amendment rights.