The Vermont Office of the Attorney General has filed an opposition to Energy Policy Advocates’ request, in an open records lawsuit, to inform the Washington County Superior Court about public records released by other states. Vermont’s AG apparently thinks these are too sensitive for Green Mountain State taxpayers to know about.
It also doesn’t think the fact that its partners have begun releasing the docs means that you will see them.
As background, the Vermont AG doesn’t want the Court to cast its gaze on agreements among different states to, incredibly, withhold certain public records involving anything having to do with climate litigation. Administrative or judicial, under state or federal law (statutory or common), and whether against a government (looking at you, US EPA) or private parties.
They even claim a common legal interest and therefore confidentiality when discussing or chatting up the plaintiffs in municipalities’ lawsuits against oil companies and others, to which suits these AGs are not and never will be party (Narrator: they don’t have a common legal interest in those cases).
Notably, these “common interest” and confidentiality agreements expressly require that “the other Parties consent to disclosure or release of Protected Information” before loosing them on an unsuspecting if far too nosy public. Meaning, the other parties now releasing these secrecy pacts from their clutches either received consent or grasped that these aren’t Protected Information.
Vermont says no, just because, e.g., Minnesota released the documents doesn’t mean that others consented…it’s just that Minnesota decided they weren’t privileged. Well, yes.
Anyway, OAG offers a little levity in a footnote:
“Because the Minnesota AGO disclosed the CIAs to Plaintiff [Energy Policy Advocates], rather than to the states’ prospective litigation adversaries identified in the GHG Litigation CIA and the Climate Change CA — the federal government and certain private producers of fossil fuels — the Minnesota AGO has not created a significant likelihood that these relevant litigation adversaries will obtain the CIAs.”HUH?
Therefore, as a public service to all you who dared produce or transport hydrocarbon energy resources: here are three secrecy pacts about progressive AGs coming after you, about helping others do so (now, new and improved), and, it seems, behind their efforts at sue-and-settle deals with the Biden EPA for them to come after you.