The chairman of the House Science Committee threatened further action Wednesday after the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general refused to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking records about their investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about man-made climate change.

Texas GOP Rep. Lamar Smith said he was disappointed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey refused to comply with subpoenas he issued two weeks ago.

In an escalating political fight over global warming, Smith is pursuing records from the two Democrats, along with nine environmental, scientific and philanthropic organizations. Schneiderman and Healey say Congress lacks authority over them.

Smith said Wednesday their noncompliance “only raises additional questions” and said “the committee will consider using all tools at its disposal to further its investigation.”

A committee spokeswoman declined to elaborate on what options the panel has, but in previous disputes the House has moved to hold in contempt of Congress those who refuse to comply with subpoenas. Lawmakers also may pursue enforcement of the subpoenas in court.

Schneiderman’s lawyer called the July 13 subpoena unprecedented and said that enforcing the subpoena would interfere with Schneiderman’s investigation into whether Dallas-based Exxon violated New York fraud statutes by suppressing its climate change research.

“Congress’ authority ends where states’ sovereign rights begin,” legal counsel Leslie Dubeck wrote.

Schneiderman’s office subpoenaed Exxon documents last November following a yearlong review of shareholder disclosures. New York’s attorney general has authority under state law to investigate and prosecute securities fraud.

Exxon has rejected the allegations, saying it has conducted nearly 40 years of research publicly in conjunction with federal and United Nations officials, issued nearly 150 papers and provided shareholders with information about the business risks of climate change.

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Work is underway at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory to add a biohazard facility that will focus on the nasty diseases found in some Wyoming wildlife, like the plague and rabies.

The lab will test for livestock, wildlife and small-animal diseases.

Director William Laegreid said the upgraded “biosafety level 3” laboratory will allow veterinarians to keep the main facility open when an animal shows up with a serious disease. When that happens, people have to put on special suits and decontaminate the lab before routine work can resume.

Work comes to a halt when serious diseases are suspected, Laegreid said.

“We get them all the time,” he said. “We have to change our procedures in the lab to accommodate these conditions. It’s very disruptive to the lab to do that, which is one of the reasons we need a new one.”

The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, operated under the University of Wyoming, focuses on diagnosing diseases present in Wyoming wildlife, the Laramie Boomerang reported ( Veterinarians from across the state send in samples of diseases they might not be able to identify. The lab also performs free rabies tests.

“If a cow gets sick, they take a swab of it and send it in,” said Mark Davidson, quality control specialist. “We culture it, and it tells us a lot about the bacteria.”

The biohazard facility also will be operated under the university’s supervision.

Creation of the lab started in 2007 but had to be stopped because of quality control issues, the Laramie Boomerang reported ( ).

“It wasn’t up to standards,” Laegreid said. “We were ready to move in and were trying out systems, but we just found a number of deficiencies.”

The renovations are expected to be completed in a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to give its approval before the new laboratory can become operational.

Researchers hope the lab will help them find a way to cure or prevent brucellosis, a bacteria that causes abortions in cattle and large wildlife.

“I’m optimistic that we will improve our ability to detect infected animals and hopefully progress toward a vaccination,” Laegreid said.


Information from: Laramie Boomerang,