Climate Litigation Watch readers are aware of the September 2018 CEI report, “Law Enforcement for Rent”, which explored in detail what public records show about the “Secret Meeting at Harvard”.
This April 2016 session hosted by Harvard Law School and the Union of Concerned Scientists was first hinted at in email productions from state attorneys general, and later illuminated in a litigation victory against a stonewalling Vermont AG’s Office.
The “secret meeting” — in the words of two emails sent by one boastful presenter — turned out to be a briefing for AG offices and “prospective funders”, on “Potential State Causes of Action Against Major Carbon Producers”.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys and professors from several institutions, including — foolishly, we now see — two public universities, made their case to senior attorneys from various AG offices across the country as well as attorneys for select municipalities.
Information about the scheme continues to emerge. Earlier this week, buried in a 5,600 page production in litigation brought on behalf of CEI by Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C. with Los Angeles counsel James Hunter, a soon to be infamous email turned up from a “secret meeting” participant.
The released public records include UCLA Law School’s Cara Horowitz writing to her funder Dan Emmett, as in Horowitz’s “Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment”, and Harvard (that name again) Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, on the morning of April 25, 2016 (emphasis added):
Thought you would like to hear that Harvard’s enviro clinic, UCLA Emmett Institute, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are talking together today at Harvard about going after climate denialism–along with a bunch of state and local prosecutors nationwide. Good discussion.
There is no denying the admission (to a major funder) of private, activist recruiting of prosecutors, to “go after climate denialism”. As in, with investigations and prosecution. As CLW previously reported, Prof. Horowitz was opposed to releasing certain public records responsive to the requests at issue in this lawsuit.
This Harvard session came on the heels of the plea by “secret meeting” participants for “a single sympathetic attorney general” to begin investigating opponents of the climate agenda.
As we now know they found two, New York’s Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts’ Maura Healey. Recall also how the Competitive Enterprise Institute was targeted with subpoenas by activist attorneys general, as part of the campaign to use law enforcement to intimidate and silence opponents of the climate political agenda.
Keep in mind this history, and particularly this latest revelation about the “secret meeting” to urge prosecution for the heretofore unrecorded crime of “climate denialism”. For example, keep it in mind as courts review a federal judge’s claim of a “missing link between the [lawyers and] activists and the AGs” (Opinion and Order: ExxonMobil v. Schneiderman et. Al., SDNY Case 1:17-CV-230 (VEC), March 29, 2018, p. 40 (Caproni, J.)(“Judge Caproni also faults ExxonMobil for not providing “other information” about” these relationships, prior even to discovery, see p. 40).
Keep it in mind in the context of one of the OAGs present — Healey’s — supposedly preparing a renewed campaign of subpoenaing private parties who have stood in the way of the climate agenda. Political dissent, in the eyes of these activists and their AGs, is a crime worth investigating.
Also count this revelation among the increasing number of records suggesting that, indeed, it is past time for prosecutors to show interest, and begin investigating. The proper investigations, however, are not the ones the plotters demand.
Note: An earlier version of this post inadvertently extended indentation and italics to the paragraph following Prof. Horowitz’s claim, giving the incorrect impression the words were attributed to Horowitz. That has been corrected. – Web Editor