Green Activists Miss Key Point In Their Climate Change Lawsuit Against Exxon Mobil

The Washington Examiner cited CEI’s Senior Fellow Christopher Horner on “Government for Rent” report.  

Green activists who have been working with their allies in government to take down Exxon Mobil and other energy companies are on a losing streak. Most recently, the Competitive Enterprise Institute published a trove of their emails with an accompanying report exposing their efforts to lobby state attorneys general to investigate Exxon Mobil. The report comes on the heels of an SEC decision to discontinue an investigation into the energy company without issuing any penalties. The SEC had been probing allegations Exxon Mobil had misled investors about the risk of climate change. What’s more, this argument being propelled by activists and public officials alike isn’t holding up any better in the courtroom. In July, U.S. District Judge John Keenan dismissed a climate change case brought by New York City against Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell.


Chris Horner, an attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., has done the heavy lifting to obtain emails and other records through Freedom of Information Act requests to provide much needed exposure.

Horner obtained the FOIA records from George Mason University and the state attorneys general complicit in the campaign on behalf of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, based in Washington, D.C., which is devoted to “strategic litigation,” “policy research,” and “public education.”

In August, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a report from Horner that describes how elective law enforcement offices work in coordination with activist pressure groups and donors to implement a policy agenda that could be achieved through the democratic process. Horner’s report explains how the use of open records laws and media scrutiny helped to bring down this coalition. But he also describes how former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “reconstituted” this network through a nonprofit organization that funnels money into offices of state attorneys general. The funds are used to hire “research fellows” who assume an activist role in partnership with compliant government attorneys.

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