Article 3H6ZY Lamar Smith says Russian bots are trying to cripple US energy production

Lamar Smith says Russian bots are trying to cripple US energy production

John Timmer
from Ars Technica on (#3H6ZY)

Enlarge / Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, R-Texas, seen here in 2013. (credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By now, there's very little disagreement that the Russian government has been pursuing an organized social media campaign within the US. But there are still significant arguments regarding the goals and impacts of that campaign. Most of these center around the presidential election, but the Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology are doing their best to get people to consider an additional topic they argue has been specifically targeted by the Russians: the US energy economy.

According to a report released Thursday by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the Russian efforts were part of a specific campaign to suppress US development of fossil fuels. But the evidence presented in the report is pretty weak, and it seems to indicate the Russian troll farms were simply trying to get Americans to argue with each other.

The report released by the committee is a majority staff report, which means it was prepared without the Democratic members of the committee. And it's an odd mixture of reasoned argument and selective interpretation of evidence.

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