A conservative legal group is accusing state Democratic officials of conspiring to flout public records laws in order to keep secret details of a campaign to bring racketeering charges against climate policy dissenters.
Democratic attorneys general led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman are seeking to block efforts to obtain documents about their efforts by invoking an overly broad claim to secrecy in ongoing legal proceedings, according to the Energy and Environment (E&E) Legal Institute.
“These activist AGs are trying to write themselves out from freedom of information laws their legislatures have written them into,” E&E senior legal fellow Chris Horner said in a Wednesday statement.
According to Horner, “they are hiding behavior that seems to be precisely the sort of abuse lawmakers sought to expose to sunlight when deciding to cover their states’ chief law enforcement officers under FOIA laws, particularly their use of nearly limitless powers to chill opposition and damage political opponents.”
Schneiderman and his team of state AGs have pursued a legal campaign against oil giant ExxonMobil since last year. They allege that the company misrepresented the dangers of climate change to its investors and the public, and enlisted nonprofit advocacy groups to advance their alleged fraud.