For Immediate Release:
November 8th, 2018
Contact Dave Mohel: (703)217-2660
GAO Files Suit against University of California on behalf of CEI for Information on UCLA Law School Involvement with Climate Litigation Industry
WASHINGTON, November 8th, 2018 – Government Oversight & Accountability’s (GAO) today filed suit against the Board of Regents of the University of California under California’s Public Records Act (CPRA) on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, aims to compel the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School to perform a search in response to two languishing CPRA requests dating back to February of this year, and produce any records responsive to those requests.
As a recent CEI report, noted by the Wall Street Journal, revealed, emails, and other public documents describe an April 2016 “secret meeting” hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) for “prospective funders”. The “secret meeting” agenda shows this fundraiser was also a strategy session, featuring senior lawyers from some of those same state AG offices — some traveled not in their official capacities but at UCS expense — to coordinate potential legal actions against energy companies developing fossil fuels.
“The placement of privately employed ‘special prosecutors for climate’ in state AG offices added an astounding twist to the unfolding story of the climate litigation industry,” said GAO Director Chris Horner. “UCLA’s involvement offers yet another. Both involve donor-funded use of public institutions to pursue opponents of a political agenda, and to impose that agenda that has failed through the proper democratic process.”
In that recent report, Horner and CEI detailed the growing involvement by law schools in an extensive campaign using state AG offices, in coordination with major contributors and activist pressure groups, to enforce a policy agenda. View the report, “Law Enforcement for Rent” and extensive appendix of source documents posted on CEI.org and ClimateLitigationWatch.org
“We have proved definitively the plaintiffs’ lawyer-green group-attorneys general axis. We now know they jointly strategize what role the AGs should play, in “secret meetings” before “prospective funders”. What this open records suit addresses is the role in the climate industry that donor-created centers at universities play”, said Horner.