The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board covers CLW’s ongoing investigation, asking:
What’s behind third-party funding of liberal state attorneys general?
Voters are spurning alarmist climate agendas at the ballot box, so U.S. progressives have turned to state attorneys general to litigate against fossil fuels. But the plan is backfiring as an ethically dubious program involving private-interest funding of state AG staff is being confronted in court.
Funding is only available to state AGs committed to “advancing progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions,” according to the group’s August 2017 email to numerous AGs obtained by Chris Horner, a former fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In other words, an outside group is funding legal services for AGs who pursue the group’s political priorities.
The SEEIC says the fellows’ work is directed by AGs and not the SEEIC, but questions about the group’s influence on law enforcement are being raised in court. One of the New York AG fellows, Matthew Eisenson, signed the state’s October suit against Exxon Mobil , which alleged the company misled investors about the risks of climate-change regulations to its business.
Documents may reveal a trail of influence peddling. Quarterly reports from the New York AG to the SEEIC explain the fellows’ contributions to environmental initiatives. But the AG’s office has not divulged those reports in records requested by Mr. Horner. Biweekly reports between the SEEIC and its advisory council may also be illuminating. In an email that Mr. Horner obtained in a separate records request, the SEEIC described the biweekly reports as “on a close hold basis.” Why the secrecy if this is nothing shady?
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