Report: Attorneys general held ‘secret’ meeting with donors to discuss future climate lawsuits

By Chris White

Attorneys associated with various attorneys general offices across the country met at a secret fundraiser in 2016 at Harvard University to discuss how to engage in climate lawsuits, according to a series of reports.

Handouts touting the fundraiser did not include any specifics, a Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) report from August notes. But one presenter described the event in an email as a “secret meeting” designed to discuss litigation holding oil companies responsible for climate change.

The Vermont Office of Attorney General attempted to sue to keep aspects of the fundraiser secret, the report notes. Courts eventually compelled the AG to release the lineup for the fundraiser that focused on pursuing opponents of the climate political agenda.

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) co-hosted the event, which took place at the Harvard University School of Law. CEI obtained emails this year allegedly showing that UCS was secretly involved with activist AGs pursuing opponents of the climate agenda since before July 2015.

Other emails CEI obtained suggest the April 2016 meeting also included several attorneys from municipalities. High-profile law firms helped cities from across the country engage in climate lawsuits against ExxonMobil and others in 2017.

Washington-based firm, Hagens Berman, eventually handled lawsuit in Oakland and New York City, the latter of which was dismissed in July. The firm is working for King County on a contingency fee basis, meaning they shoulder the upfront costs of litigation for a percentage of any winnings. King County spokesman Alex Fryer said Hagens Berman’s fee was 17 percent.

CEI’s report is based on documents collected over two years through open records requests showing an “elaborate campaign” by the “billion-dollar per year climate industry” to weaponize state attorneys general (AGs).

That campaign culminated in what the report labels “law enforcement for hire” because it allows political donors to pay for state prosecutors “in the service of an ideological, left-wing, climate policy agenda.” The report coincides with other documents from June noting that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was instrumental in the mission.

CEI’s August report also details the actions of AGs like former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who investigated Exxon for allegedly misleading investors and the public about the severity of man-made global warming.

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey joined in the campaign shortly thereafter. They formed a broader coalition in 2016 called AGs United For Clean Power that promised to work together to advance a climate agenda — most of the AGs involved in the coalition have since dropped out of the campaign.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ildar Sagdejev

4 thoughts on “Report: Attorneys general held ‘secret’ meeting with donors to discuss future climate lawsuits

  1. Many of these ‘public servants’ should be in prison, which would have an added benefit of reducing their ‘carbon footprint’ by roughly 90 percent.

  2. The AGW promoters are members of a fanatic religion. To them, their truth is the only truth (even if they have to make adjustments to reality to fit it) and heretics are to be demonized, to be destroyed by any means possible. The U.S. has reduced carbon emissions more than any other country – and many others are increasing them. Let them be a pestilence to those countries. An international court exists; sue them.
    They’re making predictions for a hundred years in the future. Consider that a hundred years in the past we were just emerging from WW I, horses were a common means of transportation, we manually shoveled coal into fireboxes to power locomotives and we didn’t have a rural highway system or electrification, never mind the internet.

  3. Well, well.

    Meeting in secret, at Harvard.

    Vermont’s AG as well.

    With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court those climate lawsuits likely would not get anywhere.

    Maura Healey, AG of MA, involved as well, the same Healey who wants to worsen the US trade balance by importing RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EAST LNG at $9/million Btu, FOR DECADES, while building out expensive, subsidized wind and solar, that produce variable/intermittent electricity at prices at least TWO TIMES NE grid wholesale prices, which have been about 5c/kWh since 2009.

    High levels of wind and solar could never stand on their own without robust connections to nearby grids, without a full complement of gas turbines and a full complement of reservoir/run of river hydro plants, plus existing other sources, plus 5 to 8 TWh of storage to provide continuous electricity service at high reliability, even when wind and solar are at very low levels, which happen at random, about 30% of the hours of the year.
    Healey insists on Russian/Middle East LNG, and opposés more gas lines and storage, because she wants to wean us New Englanders off DOMESTIC natural gas from Pennsylvania that costs about $2.7/million Btu.

    NE already has the highest electric rates in the US.

    Healey would make a bad situation worse, and would use the leftist DEEP STATE to make it worse and thereby worsen the US trade competitiveness vs the EU, etc, which already have high energy prices.

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