Today, a coordinated network of special interests – trial attorneys, environmental activists and journalists whose work is funded by anti-industry, deep-pocketed donors – have been waging a campaign to vilify manufacturers in the U.S., taking particular aim at America’s largest energy manufacturers. Their weapon of choice? Taxpayer-funded, politically-motivated legal investigations. To fight against this extraordinary and brazen attack on one of the nation’s vital economic sectors, the Manufacturers’ Center For Legal Action has launched a new campaign: the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP).
MAP will serve as a forum to educate the public and the legal community about these groups, working to unmask what is an expensive and sophisticated network behind clearly suspect legal schemes. The project will present the facts and detail how forcing companies to combat legally tenuous investigations and frivolous lawsuits harms their operations and their workers. MAP will also expose the shoddy, bankrolled academic research fueling these attacks.
This legally questionable web has been most evident in New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s attacks on America’s leading energy manufacturers. He announced his first investigation two years ago and is supported by a roster of leading figures in the environmental activist movement, including Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes, trial attorney Matthew Pawa, and 350.org’s Bill McKibben. Friendly media publications provide cover but fail to mention they, too, are backed by donors supportive of this targeted campaign.
The MCLA views this coordinated campaign as a threat to all manufacturers’ ability to continue growing and providing jobs to millions of Americans. The impact of the manufacturing sector in America cannot be overstated. It employs more than 12 million Americans and contributes over $2 trillion to the United States economy per year. Manufacturing has the largest economic impact of any major sector. As such, it’s critical to protect manufacturers’ ability to continue growing, innovating and creating jobs.
This new project is a resource to people interested in the true story of the origins of this far-reaching crusade against manufacturers and the players holding the purse strings. The consequences of this charade extend far beyond manufacturing. Investigations by politically motivated state officials such as these undermine the nation’s legal system and could open the door to a floodgate of similar investigations directed at other successful industries – agriculture, aviation, technology to name a few. This cannot go unchecked or unanswered. It’s time to take a stand.