From Energy In Depth:
Last week, two state attorneys general spearheading the climate litigation campaign against energy companies, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, were sued by government watchdogs for refusing to turn over records regarding their coordination with outside organizations. …
Since the comprehensive failure of the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil over accounting fraud allegations last year, Healey and Ellison have picked up the baton in the flawed climate litigation campaign focused on ExxonMobil and other energy companies over alleged consumer and investor fraud. To support their lawsuits, both offices have coordinated extensively with a variety of outside organizations including plaintiffs’ lawyers, academics, activist groups, and privately funded attorneys. The extent of their coordination with these private, outside groups is what these lawsuits from GAO and EPA seek to uncover. …
Healey’s office is again refusing to turn over public records regarding its investigation of ExxonMobil in what appears to be a trend of obfuscating the influence of outside interests. In announcing its lawsuit, EPA said:
Specifically, EPA is looking for communication with Brad Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), who, starting in late 2015, worked with Pawa in developing a climate litigation strategy – just before Pawa briefed the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office in early 2016.
Campbell, like Pawa, has deep ties to the climate litigation campaign being aimed at ExxonMobil. Notably, Campbell was present at a 2016 meeting hosted by the Rockefeller Family Fund and Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, where the agenda included discussion by the attendees on how they could “establish in the public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution,” “delegitimize [ExxonMobil] as a political actor” and “create scandal.” Campbell has also sued ExxonMobil and Shell.
Additionally, EPA is interested in the Massachusetts office’s correspondence with Cara Horowitz, the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law School. Horowitz has helped brief state attorneys generals and discussed the viability of climate lawsuits. The Emmett Institute receives support from Andrew Sabin who a close relationship with the Rockefellers – the network of groups behind the entire climate litigation campaign.
Read the entire piece here.