Today, the Rhode Island Attorney General picked up where Eric Schneiderman, the disgraced former Attorney General of New York, left off. In an elaborate ceremony flanked by political leaders and environmental activists, Peter Kilmartin — whose office recently confirmed he never withdrew from Schneiderman’s coalition organized to target political opponents of the climate agenda — took up the campaign to fill state and activist coffers courtesy of energy companies.
This comes days after the climate industry was dealt a blow by a federal district court judge in California, who dismissed a similar lawsuit on which they pinned great hopes to fund projects, and allies.
The participation today by Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse recalls his pressing then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to use federal law enforcement to investigate political opponents of the climate agenda.
The pair’s colloquy at a March 2016 hearing of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary addressed Sen. Whitehouse’s radical push to employ the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, against opponents, prompting Ms. Lynch’s admission:
“This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on”.
This exchange rightly generated numerous headlines questioning this use of government resources.
Today’s spectacle also recalls how Peter Frumhoff of the environmental activist and lobby group Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) appeared in a July 31, 2015 email the Competitive Enterprise Institute obtained in a public records lawsuit against George Mason University (Horner et al. V. GMU). In it, Frumhoff informs an activist academic — months before any AG subpoenaed records — that UCS had no interest in supporting Sen. Whitehouse’s call for RICO investigation of opponents…but that he was working on “state (e.g. AG) action” against what AG emails later described as “Exxon specifically, and the fossil fuel industry generally”.
Today, we see more fruit of UCS’s suggestion of running from Sen. Whitehouse’s abusive request, toward the equally abusive marshaling of state AGs to do the activists’ bidding. Stay tuned to see if more State Attorneys General continue their #IStandWithScheiderman campaign.