E&E Legal knows a thing or two about New York shakedown schemes. Through our public records pursuits and subsequent lawsuits, we exposed an intricate scam consisting of green ‘rent seekers,’ willing public officials like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his co-ringer leader, former Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, big donors like Tom Steyer and ideological scolds like the Rockefellers.
We exposed their real game of scheming to extract a tobacco-style settlement from the fossil fuel extraction, processing and production industries — and then, industries that use the energy sources, such as electric utilities — which would provide a gusher of revenues for politicians and their pet groups but do nothing to “save the planet”. We also exposed more details of how major party donors and Rockefeller nags got law enforcement going on the scheme, and that it was expressly, according to the AGs’ own correspondence, to impose a failed political agenda. That hurt.
E&E Legal also knew that the next battleground for this crowd would be the creation of “climate risk disclosure” industry (and bar) and public pension funds, having first uncovered Schneiderman’s office working with Rockefellers and Wall Street interests beginning in 2012 — the same year the “climate RICO scheme” was hatched, with several overlapping principals. Having seen Albany’s involvement, and certain political ambition emanating from that donor-base hive Manhattan, we sent public records requests to the New York City of New York and State comptroller offices back in 2014 seeking records related to “climate risk” and divestment efforts away. These document productions showed a broader mix of what was still the same crowd of Rockefeller interests, Wall Street investors and party-base activists joining ambitious New York politicians in the effort.
So when the New York Times recently reported on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio looking to buck up the flagging and disgraced campaign by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and pick up the Rockefellers’ water-pail, we weren’t surprised. This is part of a multi-prong campaign which, against grudging resistance, we have uncovered that seeks to silence political opposition, extract tributes in order to keep operating, and take them over through “proxy access” and forcing party activists on to the boards of publicly traded companies.
The general philosophy we have helped expose is to spin the tobacco-settlement model out, for the money but also political gain, using the threat of capital flight from targeted industries as a weapon to get their way. The campaign seeks to impede access to capital, destroy value — one player called it “divestment through value destruction” — with some participants positioning to benefit from the fallout through their own positions in funds designed in whole or in part for the purpose. The industry consists of State AGs, public pension funds, Comptrollers/Treasurers, and lawmakers combining with interest groups, contingency fee lawyers, investors, and possible settlement beneficiaries including academia. They pursue gains both political and financial. Everyone gets a taste, except those whose investments are degraded for political virtue-signaling and axe-grinding.
Think Lois Lerner, and the IRS targeting of political opponents, meets Willie Sutton.
It is a three-pronged campaign:
- Climate RICO
- Divestment, pressure/occupy lenders to restrict targets’ access to capital markets
- Engagement to Occupy: mobs, pressure, proxy access
ExxonMobil was clearly targeted after being voted “most likely to settle”. The fight that company has instead put up is encouraging and surely shocked this cabal. While the campaign against their poster child is the focus of most coverage, is is by no means the movement’s sole focus.
So, for now, we will just say, We told you so, with these latest entrants vowing divestment — in pursuit of underperforming assets, incidentally, a questionable interpretation of fiduciary responsibility — and to sue these companies for allegedly causing bad weather.
When it comes to doing the Rockefellers’ bidding, money talks, there is always a willing and ambitious politician anxious do whatever is necessary, and getting Wall Street onboard is never difficult since as Gordon Gekko famously noted, “Greed is good.”
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