Posts by Anthony Watts:
From Inside Sources:
Michael Bloomberg’s billions aren’t just buying ads. In at least two Super Tuesday states, his money funds private lawyers working inside attorneys general offices, advancing his political agenda on the environment.
One Democrat AG compares accepting this private funding from a political candidate with federal funding from “President Trump’s” Department of Justice.
Read the entire piece here.
From Real Clear Energy:
Emails between RBF and one of its partners in advocacy, the Center for a New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, reveal concern that these public records would find their way to the American public.
For example, RBF’s Northrop raised the prospect of mailing the notes instead of email, having been tipped off to one of Energy Policy Advocates’ records requests by the same New Mexico Energy Secretary.
Another correspondent gently suggested to Northrop that “Snail mail is probably subject to open records too, no?” Yes. Yes, it is.
Newly obtained public records offer a window into one of the most troubling political developments in recent years. That is the enlistment of state attorneys general by activists and tort lawyers to advance an agenda when stymied by democracy. These new emails provide a case-study in the capture of an AG’s office….
Emails obtained by the nonprofit transparency group Energy Policy Advocates show that, soon after [Michigan Attorney General Dana] Nessel assumed the Office (“OAG”) in 2019, it brought in a consultant named Stanley “Skip” Pruss…
Pruss was brought in ostensibly as Nessel’s alternate on a body called the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), which meets three times a year. He was capped at $20,000 per year for this, which was soon doubled to $40,000.
This arrangement seems pretextual, as Pruss is broadly influential as the greens’ Swiss Army knife, a taxpayer-funded direct conduit to the AG and senior officials on all the top priorities of environmentalists and the plaintiff’s bar — from investigating private parties to blocking a replacement for Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline under the Mackinac Straights.
Read the entire item here.
Energy Policy Advocates and Rob Schilling previously filed a motion to intervene in the New York Attorney General’s case against ExxonMobil, which ended in a “debacle” for the activist NY AG (for three of them, in fact…). Their purpose is the limited one of unsealing certain records showing OAG’s relationship with the plaintiff’s tort lawyer Matt Pawa, who a major political and green-group donor suggests brought these investigations to the New York AG.
Open records productions exhaustively detailed on CLW prove he brought the pitch to go after his civil litigation targets to other AGs.
Alternately, under New York law, the Court must explain its reasoning for keeping sealed each record it says should remain free from public inspection.
To keep these records showing the relationship between a public agency and a tort lawyer, urging law enforcement go after the latter’s targets, from public examination Mr. Pawa himself sought to intervene, as a “friend of the court”.
EPA/Schilling’s response clarifies some apparent confusion about what a Friend of the Court is, and isn’t, while noting Mr. Pawa’s odd focus on ad hominem as a reason to allow him to try and keep communications with NY OAG from the public. While EPA/Schilling acknowledge the oddity of that move, to the extent the Court is willing to entertain motives,the group lays out an interesting history of Mr. Pawa’s advocacy to AGs, underwritten by charitable donors.
Of particular note, spot the news that this exhibit breaks.
From Energy in Depth:
Transparency in the Public Interest
According to the group’s website, EPA’s purpose is to “bring transparency to the realm of energy and environmental policy.” Their memo replying to the attorney general’s opposition (they refer to the attorney general by the acronym “OAG”) explains that they are acting in accordance with that mission:
“OAG has failed to offer in its papers any reason why the documents at issue are privileged, secret, sensitive, or otherwise exempt from public disclosure. The documents appear to reflect nothing more than communications between OAG and a lobbyist, where the lobbyist urges the use of the OAG’s awesome powers and taxpayer funded resources in what has proved a disastrous undertaking. The public has an absolute right to know how this came about, and how this Court has addressed the claims made by the parties. Intervention in this case is an appropriate procedural mechanism to make that happen.” (emphasis added)
In filing their motion to intervene, EPA and Schilling say they are only attempting to bring transparency and understanding to a case that has been muddled with the attorney general’s shifting arguments. EPA argues that the public – especially the New York taxpayers who footed the bill for their attorney general’s three-year investigation and subsequent “show trial” – has a right to know the information within these documents.
The Proof is in the Presentation
EPA and Schilling also fired back at the attorney general’s argument that the motion is untimely, explaining that the intervenors did not come forward earlier because they wanted to “enable a fair trial” without outside interference. They waited until the New York attorney general announced it wouldn’t appeal Justice Ostrager’s sweeping ruling against the public official in a case they fought based on evidence that doesn’t exist.
The memo also points out that EPA’s and Schilling’s motion comes “after obtaining similar ‘recruiting’ correspondence with Mr. Pawa from another Office of Attorney General.” This hints at one key document that this motion is hoping to reveal: a slideshow that Pawa presented to various state attorneys general over the years to encourage them to pursue climate litigation against ExxonMobil. This presentation was reportedly shown to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Read the entire post here.