Amicus Brief in Texas Reveals New Info on Climate Litigation Industry - Climate Litigation Watch

Amicus Brief in Texas Reveals New Info on Climate Litigation Industry

Government-transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (“EPA”) has filed an amicus brief with the Texas State Supreme Court, in a case considering Exxon Mobil’s Rule 202 petition against California municipalities like San Francisco and Oakland and their former “climate” lawyer, Matt Pawa. 

That action was filed by the company to obtain pre-suit discovery against some of the parties engaged in the “nationwide” campaign of vexatious multi-district litigation to extract hundreds of billions of dollars in the name of purported “climate” sins. The Court of Appeals below derided this campaign as “lawfare,” in urging the state’s top court to take the matter up for review.

This brief is a top-to-bottom review of what we know at present about the genesis and execution of the litigation campaign by the tort bar, activists, elected state attorneys general, academia, and major donors (the latter having been particularly helpful in arranging a parallel campaign of media cheerleading).

Notably, the brief delves into the little-known details of then-AG Kamala Harris’s involvement in organizing the 2012 La Jolla conference, in stark contrast to a federal judge’s claim in a 2018 opinion of a “missing link” between the AGs, donors and activists.

More interesting still is a screen shot of one of the Bloomberg “SAAGs’” computers showing relevant folders on the Minnesota OAG’s system, which the “embedded” MN SAAG shared with another office, which then produced it to EPA in open records litigation. The screen suggests the existence of still more attempted secrecy pacts between the AGs and the rest of the climate litigation industry. 

So far, EPA has obtained two such agreements revealing dubious claims of “common legal interests” nationwide among activist AGs — in litigation they insist is purely a matter of enforcing local consumer protection statutes — a discussion that in CLW’s opinion is also very useful to the court.