A liberal watchdog group erroneously claimed a cabal of Republican attorneys general held an undisclosed, secret meeting in Colorado with oil lobbyists on how to beat back crusades directed at global warming skeptics.
Left-wing nonprofit group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released audio recordings Sept. 23 supposedly showing the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) engaging in undisclosed meetings with fossil fuel lobbyists at a summer summit in July. The meetings, according to CMD, were meant to brainstorm ways to defeat the probes targeting Exxon Mobil.
The truth behind CMD’s claim is more complicated. The energy analysts involved with the supposed subterfuge actually disclosed the meetings a month prior at a separate public discussion, which was attended by some of Washington, D.C.’s most influential media outlets.
CMD is also funded by one of the main groups pushing investigations into Exxon, the mega-wealthy Rockefeller Family Foundation (RFF). CMD did not mention its ties to RFF in its actual report, though it does disclose RFF funding on its website.
Ironically, RFF had its own secret meeting with environmentalists in January, The Wall Street Journal reported in April. RFF’s effort was part of a multi-year campaign to bring racketeering charges against Exxon for allegedly withholding knowledge about global warming from shareholders and the general public.