No outside counsel needed, already being provided…in-house
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has launched what documents — both public and some not yet released — show he has been working on with outside parties for quite some time, the next entry in the climate litigation sweepstakes.
CLW readers recall how then-AG Sidney Blumenthal confessed that these suits against energy interests were designed, ab initio, to force them to embrace the climate agenda. We also know these suits have been dangled to private financiers of more attorneys for activist AGs. (The idea of “a sustainable funding stream” is also, apparently, difficult to resist.)
In fact, CLW has learned that at least one “single sympathetic state attorney general” was in on the ground floor in 2012, advising the tort bar and activists on the campaign on which all later cooperated to pitch “prospective funders“, of “going after climate denialism [sic] — along with a bunch of state and local prosecutors nationwide.” More on that as yet unexplored, early coordination, later.
Ellison is already in court trying to keep from the public certain records about his dealings with the tort bar recruiting AGs to undertake these suits, and/or to hire the firms to do so for them. He also is resisting release of more records about his involvement with a private funder of AG efforts, billionaire climate activist Michael Bloomberg.
In this case, the latter has obviated the need for engaging the former.
AG Ellison’s application to a group created by Bloomberg for this purpose, seeking additional resources including PR and privately hired lawyers to pursue matters of priority to Mr. Bloomberg, highlighted the AG’s interest in targeting one of today’s defendants, ExxonMobil. It noted that he would love to do more if, ahem, only he had more than the legislature had decided was appropriate.
Completely unrelated, today’s suit was filed by the two attorneys Bloomberg’s group hired and provided to Ellison’s Office as a result of that application.
This has also been the case in other offices where Bloomberg has placed multiple privately hired attorneys. This became quite an issue in the New York AG’s disastrous suit, was true in Massachusetts which filed next, and…well, one more Office which, word has it, is coincidentally preparing to follow its compadres with multiple Bloomberg-provided lawyers.
Hat-tip to Energy Policy Advocates for the records.