Democratic attorneys general met behind the scenes with environmental activists during a meeting to discuss ways to go after oil giant ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading the public about global warming. And then they tried to cover it up.
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained emails showing the New York attorney general’s office invited two prominent environmental activists to give presentations to a group of state prosecutors about “climate change litigation” and the “imperative of taking action now on climate change.”
Eco-activists gave these presentations behind closed doors the same day New York AG Eric Schneiderman was joined by more than a dozen other attorneys general and former Vice President Al Gore in condemning Exxon for “fraud” and “deceiving the American people.”
Emails also show Schneiderman’s staff told environmentalists coming to lecture state AGs on global warming to not confirm their attendance of the closed-door meetings.
“What should I say if she asks if I attended?” Matt Pawa, an activist lawyer who works with the Climate Accountability Institute and the Global Warming Legal Action Project, wrote to Lem Srolovic, who heads the New York Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau in a March 2016 email.
“My ask is if you speak to the reporter, to not confirm that you attended or otherwise discuss the event,” Srolovic replied.
Pawa had apparently been asked if he was attending the March meeting by a Wall Street Journal reporter. Srolovic wanted to keep Pawa’s involvement on a need to know basis. Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, was the other activist invited to attend the meeting.
“These emails show Schneiderman’s office suggested their outside-activist green allies deceive the press; meanwhile, AGs in his coalition have subpoenaed at least one policy group’s correspondence with the media,” David Schnare, general counsel with the Energy & Environment Legal Institute said in a statement.
E&E Legal obtained the emails through a public records request in the wake of U.S. Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker issuing a subpoena for 20 years of records from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank. Walker attended Schneiderman’s March meeting, where he announced his intention to investigate Exxon.
Schneiderman’s March meeting comes after the liberal AG launched an investigation into whether or not Exxon was accurately portraying to shareholders the risks global warming poses to the company’s operations.