These email records…
…from UCLA Law School suggest that the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Peter Frumhoff is on the inside of the climate tort industry and its litigation campaign.
CLW readers recall it was from a UCS event led by Frumhoff — the “Secret Meeting at Harvard” — that UCLA faculty member Cara Horowitz emailed the school’s major donor Dan Emmet, describing the discussion as being “about going after climate denialism–along with a bunch of state and local prosecutors nationwide”.
CLW readers also recall Frumhoff as the source of the first public-record email revealing the behind the scenes success of a campaign to recruit “a single sympathetic attorney general”. That plea for an AG to subpoena private parties’ records of course came from the very same tort industry, looking for some law enforcement help to give the litigation campaign a lift.
That came in a July 2015 email obtained in Horner v. George Mason University (the “Green 20” FOIA case), revealing Frumhoff’s key role in bringing about that deployment of AGs to use the courts to advance, and target opponents of, the failed “climate” political agenda. As we learned in docs obtained in that case, Frumhoff told GMU communications prof Ed Maibach in July 2015:
Just so you know, we’re also in the process of exploring other state-based approaches to holding fossil fuel companies legally accountable – we think there’ll likely be a strong basis for encouraging state (e.g. AG) action forward and, in that context, opportunities for climate scientists to weigh in.
It would be interesting- and perhaps very useful – to consider how calls for legal accountability will play out in the court of public opinion in different states/with different subsets of the American public- something perhaps we could work with you all on as this unfolds.
These UCLA records now reveal that Frumhoff is also on the inside in the tort bar’s campaign.