Free Market Groups Sues NY AG Over Probe Into Global Warming Skeptics

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Two conservative environmental law groups are suing New York’s attorney general for withholding information related to an investigation of groups and companies skeptical of global warming.

The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) and the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) filed a lawsuit last week against Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for investigating groups and companies skeptical of so-called man-made global warming.

FME Law and E&E Legal are seeking communication between Schneiderman and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, and environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer. Steyer and Harris are staunch advocates of enacting inquisitions against global warming skeptics and fossil fuel companies.

“[C]opies of all correspondence, including attachments, which was sent to or from (including also as cc: or bcc:) New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and one or more of the following eight individuals, using either his official or his non-official email and text messaging accounts (e.g., GMail, private cell phone as well as State-provided accounts,” the lawsuit reads.
A hearing has been set for Sept. 16 in New York City.

The New York attorney general began his Exxon Mobil investigation in November, arguing the oil producer misled investors for more than 40 years on the risks associated with global warming. The pursuit of Exxon was a precursor to Schneiderman’s investigation into some of the groups complicit in helping the oil company allegedly breaking the law.

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith issued subpoenas to Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and eight environmental groups July 13 focusing on nonprofit groups for supposedly hiding information related to global warming.

“The attorneys general have appointed themselves to decide what is valid and what is invalid regarding climate change. The attorneys general are pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech,” Smith, who chairs the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, said in a press statement at the time. “What are they hiding? And Why?”

Schneiderman refused to comply with the subpoena July 27.  The request is “an unprecedented effort” bringing the two sides “closer to a protracted, unnecessary legal confrontation,” Schneiderman’s attorney wrote in a letter July 27. He added that enforcing Smith’s subpoena would interfere with the attorney general’s investigation.

E&E Legal is also suing Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin for refusing to hand over records pertaining to a “secret pact” his office has with other attorneys general investigating ExxonMobil’s global warming stance.

“E&E Legal expects to do whatever is necessary to get these public records before the public, to educate on this unprecedented abuse of power,” EELI Executive Director Craig Richardson said in a press statement at the time.

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