BOSTON, MA, March 10, 2020 – The Transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (“EPA”) yesterday filed a motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to appear as a friend of the court, to provide information showing the July 2018 “climate nuisance” lawsuit filed by the State of Rhode Island belongs in federal court — and should be dismissed therefrom. Matthew Hardin, who represents GAO in numerous lawsuits, filed on EPA’s behalf.
In the memo accompanying its motion, EPA revealed to the Court notes, obtained under a state open records law, recording a damning confession by a senior State of Rhode Island official that the objective of this litigation is in fact a “sustainable funding stream” for the State’s spending ambitions, because the voters’ elected representatives don’t share the administration’s priorities.
As EPA noted, “[t]his information is thematically consistent with the brief of Amici, Sens. Markey, Reed and Whitehouse alleging that a certain party is using this Court, in this action, in service of its economic interests. Refreshingly, these records move beyond aspersions and instead provide documentation, contemporaneously recorded by two different parties hearing the same assertions and recording them the same way. Contrary to the suggestion of the Amici Senators, however, these notes show the State confiding to peers that it is Plaintiff who seeks to use the judiciary, in this suit, in that way.”
EPA provided the Court handwritten and typewritten notes both of which, independently, “document the State’s concession that Rhode Island’s elected representatives are insufficiently moved by the State’s claims of loss and looming disaster to enact laws raising the revenues the State’s executive desires; and that Plaintiff is thus “looking for [a] sustainable funding stream”, having been reduced to “suing big oil” for its “Priority – sustainable funding stream”. Notably both sets of notes capture the Plaintiff as having emphasized the “state court” aspect of its plan.”
These notes were taken during a two-day meeting in July 2019, hosted by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund at the Rockefeller mansion at Pocantico, NY, as a forum for policy activists and a major funder to coordinate with senior public officials from 15 states. It is to these officials the Plaintiff Rhode Island, through its Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, confessed to this motive, captured unambiguously by not one but two participants.
Records provided to the Court include: