Outside Interests Strike Gold in Minnesota AG Ellison's Office - Climate Litigation Watch

Outside Interests Strike Gold in Minnesota AG Ellison’s Office

In March 2019, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran a telling item after its editorial board met with Attorney General Keith Ellison, prompting CLW to post “Minneapolis Newspaper Signals AG Ellison to Join Bloomberg Scheme?” It sure seemed that Ellison had prepared the paper with news his office would take in privately hired environmental activist attorneys as “Special Assistant Attorneys General,” paid and hired by a group financed by Michael Bloomberg for that very purpose.

That editorial was published March 26, 2019. Turns out, Ellison had in fact just days before sent his request to Bloomberg’s group for outside financial and media help to pursue Bloomberg priorities.

Both documents suggested not only Ellison’s influence with the paper’s editorialists but the influence of the Bloomberg group on Ellison’s Office. Which only grew as, sure enough, Ellison took in not one but two Bloomberg “SAAGs”, then filed his climate suit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and its affiliated Flint Hill Resources companies, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Not a coincidence. It also turns out that a local activist couldn’t resist, and has boasted of how this use of law enforcement came about with a fairly epic own-goal.

The Executive Director of a local pressure group called “Fresh Energy”, Michael Noble, acknowledged that his group “helped put this idea in front of Attorney General Keith Ellison shortly after he was sworn in” after “a national organization who [sic] leads on this kind of climate liability, climate litigation…brought this concept to Fresh Energy the Fall of 2018.”

He continued, boasting boasted that the two Bloomberg “SAAGs”, “attorney Leigh Currie on the Attorney General’s staff and Pete Surdo have basically been working on this full time over the last few months”

The entire video of the July 1, 2020 webinar available is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MqX14GTm-o.