Are Department of the Treasury bureaucrats working to implement the agenda of environmental activists? A lawsuit filed in the D.C. Circuit Court on Tuesday seeks to answer this very question.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) sued the federal government for not responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) request for correspondence from a top Treasury Department official related to “climate risk disclosures.”
IER President Tom Pyle wants to “educate the public on what role Treasury officials are playing in assisting the move to impose activist-demanded ‘confessions’ by publicly traded companies of their causation of serious, man-made global warming, seeking penance at the hands of a ‘climate’ securities tort bar, and elected officials eager for large settlement funds to politically distribute.”
Environmental activists have pushed shareholder resolutions to require companies to disclose the risks their operations face from man-made global warming and government policies to restrict greenhouse gas emissions.
Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Exxon in late 2015, alleging the oil and gas giant misled investors and the public on climate science. Schneiderman has since resigned over allegations he physically abused several women, but the state has not dropped his case against Exxon.
Republican attorneys general have called the Schneiderman-led effort “unconstitutional” and GOP lawmakers probed the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) investigation into Exxon’s alleged climate cover-up.
IER is suing the Treasury Department for Director of the Office of Energy & Environment Peter Wisner’s correspondence in the last two years that include the key words including “Bloomberg task force,” “Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosure” and “climate financial disclosure.” Wisner took his current Treasury Department role in September 2015.
“Thanks to previous open records requests, we know that the campaign for ‘climate risk disclosure’ began in 2012 by pressure groups, Wall Street interests, and activist politicians led by Mr. Schneiderman,” Pyle said.
“Now we understand that senior Trump administration officials are possibly working to advance this campaign,” said Pyle, who served on President Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. (RELATED: Here Are The Details Of This GOP Lawmaker’s CO2 Tax Bill And Why It’s Likely Doomed To Fail)
Environmental activists had pushed for investigations into Exxon for years, but their approach has become more aggressive in recent years as activist shareholders got involved.
Groups like Ceres and Rockefeller Financial Asset Management have pushed oil and gas companies to disclose potential climate risks to shareholders. Major investment firms, like Vanguard, also backed such shareholder disclosures.
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