From Energy In Depth (h/t to Matt Dempsey)
A new batch of emails, released late Friday afternoon, pulls back the curtain further on the level of collusion and coordination between anti-fossil fuel activists, their funders, and the attorneys general that have launched climate investigations into people, companies, and think tanks with which they disagree on the issue.
These emails, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by brought by The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Chris Horner, show that key activists behind this campaign had hoped they could make a case for prosecuting climate “deniers” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. But, due to multiple warnings from experts that such a case would be have no chance to actually succeed, they decided instead to shift their strategic focus to state-level attorneys general to get the job done. Interestingly, these emails date back to last summer, months before the Rockefeller-funded InsideClimate News and the Columbia School of Journalism published their #ExxonKnew investigations.
The key players that emerge from this latest batch of emails are George Mason University (GMU) professors Jagadish Shukla and Edward Maibach, who spearheaded a letter in September 2015 with several other colleagues to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and President Obama asking them to explore RICO charges against climate “deniers” and their funders.
Here are some other key revelations that come from these emails:
#1: Activists were colluding with state AGs much longer than initially thought
The activists pushing for the climate RICO investigations have been claiming that the “investigative reporting” by InsideClimate News (ICN) and the Columbia School of Journalism were what spurred them to action. But as these new emails reveal, the master plan was already in place and well under way before those articles were published.
In one email, GMU professor Ed Maibach reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to enlist its help in getting activists from every congressional district to sign on to their letter. Peter Frumhoff of UCS replied to that request by saying his organization would not join the effort — because UCS did not think the case was strong enough to have a chance of eliciting the intervention of the federal attorney general. Frumhoff went on to admit that they were already pursuing a possible path via state AGs, noting “we think there’ll likely be a strong basis for encouraging state (e.g. AG) action forward, and in that context, opportunities for climate scientists to weigh in.”
Full story: http://energyindepth.org/national/new-foiad-emails-tell-a-very-different-story-about-how-ny-ags-rico-campaign-started-off/
Note: shortly after publication, an edit was added from the original website to correct an attribution error in the second paragraph to mention CEI, rather than the Free Market Law Clinic. – Anthony