The State Department is being sued for concealing documents and information related to the agency’s use of outside groups and individuals to promote the Paris climate deal during the Obama-era.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free market group based in Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging the State is refusing to act on a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for more information regarding backstage work on the agreement.
“Americans should know the extent to which the State Department orchestrated outside experts and groups in pushing talking points about the need for the Paris Agreement and its alleged nontreaty status,” CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said in a press statement.
CEI already has evidence that the “State Department has something serious to hide regarding its attempts to grease the skids for the energy-crippling climate plan that President Trump has rejected,” he added. The lawsuit would buttress some documents the group has acquired about the climate agreement.
The group has spent the past two years targeting remnants of the previous administration. CEI analysists Chris Horner and Marlo Lewis, for instance, published a paper last year arguing former President Barack Obama ignored the U.S. Constitution during the signing phase of the deal to make his climate policies immune to legal challenges.
Lewis said Obama should have submitted the Paris agreement to the Senate for approval. The Obama administration argued the Paris agreement did not need Senate approval because it was an extension of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was ratified in the 1990s.
Paris meets the Department of State’s criteria to be called a “treaty by virtue of its costs and risks, ambition compared to predecessor climate treaties, dependence on subsequent legislation by Congress, intent to affect state laws, U.S. historic practice with regard to multilateral environmental agreements,” reads Horner and Lewis’s report.
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