Reaction to CEI’s Lawsuit against New York Attorney General Schneiderman

Yesterday CEI filed a lawsuit against New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman for refusing to disclose the legal agreements his office made with other state attorneys general and environmental activists as part of his “AGs United for Clean Power” campaign against climate skeptics. The Wall Street Journal covered the new development with a supportive editorial:

[CEI is] filing a suit under New York’s freedom of information law to ask the ringleader of the AG coalition—Empire State AG Schneiderman—to produce “any common interest agreements” he entered into as part of this effort.

Specifically, CEI wants to know about any deal the AGs made with groups such as the Eco-Accountability Project, the Center for International Environmental Law and others. In other words, CEI wants to know which “private activists” Mr. Schneiderman was working with and what the terms of the deal were when he launched this crusade. This relates directly to the political and economic motives behind this government power play.

So far Mr. Schneiderman’s office has refused to cooperate with the CEI request. CEI’s lawyer says this is nothing more than an attempt to hide what the AGs were up to behind “a shroud of secrecy.”

Journal columnist Holman Jenkins also wrote on how Schneiderman’s investigation of Exxon Mobil for alleged “climate fraud” has unraveled. John Siciliano at the Washington Examiner also reported on the case:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute requested this summer that the documents be released, saying Schneiderman had no right to withhold the information. The attorney general denied their request. So the think tank is suing.

“None of the reasons Schneiderman claimed for withholding these documents are legitimate under New York law,” Kazman said. “The public deserves to know what this AG, and the other AGs cooperating with him, agreed to when it came to targeting their political opponents, and that's why we sought the common interest agreement in the first place.”

Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times, the Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay, and our old friend Ron Bailey of Reason also wrote up the news.