Activist Robert Kennedy Jr. asked former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2016 to ban ExxonMobil from doing business in the state for allegedly misleading the public about climate change, the New York Post reported Monday.
Kennedy sent Schneiderman a 17-page memo on Jan. 5, 2016 asking him to impose a “corporate death penalty” on Exxon. The memo was sent weeks after the former lawman opened an investigation into whether Exxon misled investors about the effects climate change have on the company’s business interests.
“Exxon Mobil’s subterfuge amounts to a crime against humanity,” noted the document , which was sent to Schneiderman via Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, a group Kennedy co-founded. “By delaying government action for a quarter century, Exxon Mobil has caused massive and predictable environmental damage in New York State.”
The memo, obtained by the New York Post, likens the attorney general-led campaign against Exxon to the fight against tobacco companies a generation ago. Exxon duped the public about global warming like tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking, the memo noted.
Kennedy confirmed to the Post that he helped craft the memo and had numerous discussions with the former New York AG about the best way to move forward on the issue. Whatever discussion Schneiderman, a Democrat, had with Kennedy stalled in May after the AG resigned following allegations he physically abused multiple women. (RELATED: Fate Of Schneiderman’s Climate Fight Could Hinge On NY’s Conservative Senate)
Schneiderman was the chief participant in a slew of lawsuits against ExxonMobil and President Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda, among other climate-related issues. Prior to resigning, he joined 14 other attorneys general in suing the Environmental Protection Agency for not issuing regulations targeting emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas activists contribute to man-made climate change. (RELATED: NY Gov Cuomo Calls On NY AG Schneiderman To Resign After Abuse Allegations)
New York took 55 legal actions during Schneiderman’s leadership, a sum tied with California for the most of any state, according to data from the New York University Law School’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, which was crafted in 2017 to escalate attacks against Trump’s regulatory rollback.
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