Liberal-progressive New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has "commenced an investigation of Exxon Mobile … to find out what the oil giant knew about the possible risks of carbon-induced climate change and when," reports Christopher Helman at Forbes. "The legitimacy of Schneiderman's investigation depends entirely on the presumption that current scientific consensus on carbon-induced Global Warming is accurate. What if those climate scientists are wrong yet again?" (For a little insight into how wrong climate alarmists have been to date, see Carbon Dioxide Emissions Do Far More Good Than Harm.)

Domestic energy production has been the one – the only? – bring spot in the American economy in recent years. And while Exxon Mobil might play a relative small role in it (producing 5 percent of domestic oil and 4 percent of natural gas), it is nevertheless an American business that contributes to the American economy and jobs. In their assault on Exxon, progressives ignore the "myriad redeeming qualities to petroleum and other fossil fuels,” argues Helman.

They are a means to an end. They make cars and trucks and planes and boats go. They fuel power plants that generate electricity. Electricity has helped bring billions of people out of poverty. It enables light and heat and refrigeration and computers. Thanks to fossil fuels we haven't had to chop down all the world's forests for firewood or kill all the world's whales for lamp oil. Thanks to fossil fuels you don't have to rely on a horse to get you where you need to go.

Wall Street Journal editors put this witch hunt into perspective under the headline, Prosecuting Climate Dissent:

This marks a dangerous new escalation of the left's attempt to stamp out all disagreement on global-warming science and policy.

Progressives have been losing the political debate over climate change, failing to pass cap and trade even when Democrats had a supermajority in Congress. So they have turned to the force of the state through President Obama's executive diktats and now with the threat of prosecution. This assault won't stop with Exxon. Climate change is the new religion on the left, and progressives are going to treat heretics like Cromwell did Catholics.

All this may make the 27% of America's left-wingers happy, but for the vast majority of Americans who enjoy powering our cell phones and other electronics, turning on the lights and heat, and driving where we want to go, it's more evidence that progressive liberal policies are pushing us in the wrong direction.