Exclusive: Anti-Exxon NY AG Raked In $264,000 From Some Of The Company’s Biggest Rivals

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has gotten nearly $264,000 in campaign donations from monied individuals with ties to lawyers and environmentalists backing the Democratic prosecutor’s global warming investigation.

Schneiderman, who’s been investigating whether or not ExxonMobil misled shareholders and the public about global warming, has gotten campaign contributions from the wealthy liberals and lawyers who could have profited off a legal judgement against Exxon, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation examination of campaign finance data.

“The idea that Eric Schneiderman of all people isn’t raising money off his breathtakingly abusive campaign is only plausible to someone paying no attention at all to what has been going on here,” Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI), told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Liberal billionaire George Soros and his family has donated $251,000 to Schneiderman’s political campaigns since 2006. Soros himself has given Schneiderman $64,500, while his sons and daughter-in-law donated the rest.

Soros is a major funder of liberal causes, and has funded groups jumping on the bandwagon against Exxon for allegedly misleading people about climate science. He’s funded groups, like the Tides Foundation, which gives to environmentalists who want government officials to investigate Exxon.

Members of the Rockefeller family have given $10,040 to Schneiderman since 2004, most of it coming from Larry Rockefeller, a prominent environmental lawyer, who’s given Schneiderman $7,500 since 2014.

The Rockefeller family has been a major backer of left-wing reporting into what Exxon “knew” about global warming since the 1970s and what it told investors and the public.

Larry Rockefeller is a trustee with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which signed a letter in 2015 asking the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into Exxon for its stance on global warming.

Rockefeller family-affiliated nonprofits have funded journalists at Columbia University and InsideClimate News — the news outlets to first claim Exxon “knew” the dangers of global warming for decades while publicly denying it.

Horner has been investigating collusion between environmentalists and Schneiderman. EELI released emails in April showing Schneiderman invited prominent activists — who have been trying to get the government to prosecute Exxon for years — to secretly brief Democratic attorneys general staff in March.

In January 2016, the Rockefeller Family Fund convened a meeting of environmentalists “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”

Larry Rockefeller is not a trustee of the Rockefeller Family Fund, but Schneiderman critics say it shows campaign finances have ties to activists whose agenda he shares.

“It’s definitely not escaped our notice that the same foundations and wealthy folks spending all this money to manufacture the #ExxonKnew controversy are also the ones writing big checks to Schneiderman himself,” Katie Brown, spokeswoman for the petroleum industry-backed group Energy In Depth, told TheDCNF.

Schneiderman has received from lawyers with the class action law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll who could have directly benefited from another state investigation into Exxon.

Cohen Milstein was the firm hired by U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker to handle his anti-racketeering investigation against Exxon on a contingency fee basis — an investigation that ensnared a libertarian think tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

Walker’s investigation was eventually pulled back amid legal challenges by Exxon and CEI, but a legal victory here could have netted Cohen Milstein millions of dollars.

“Good investment, I guess,” Brown said. “The attorney general is basically at their beck and call at this point.”

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