by Carolyn Davis
Natural Gas Intelligence

ExxonMobil Corp.’s dispute with state attorneys general into the company’s climate change research is heating up, with a North Texas district court now holding a key in how the case moves forward. At the same time an industry group has charged the attorneys general coalition is politically directed at furthering the Obama administration’s climate change initiative.

New York AG Eric Schneiderman, later joined by 15 state and Washington, DC, AGs, last fall subpoenaed ExxonMobil, demanding financial records, emails and other documents that date back to the 1970s regarding its climate change research (see Daily GPI, June 30; Oct. 23, 2015)…

The pro-industry Energy & Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal) on Tuesday posted a copy of a letter dated March 7 of what the group claims is a “secrecy pact” between Schneiderman and Vermont AG William Sorrell to other “ideologically aligned” AGs.

The letter, obtained through state open records laws, invited other AGs to join in an “informal coalition…to stop climate change and expand the availability and usage of renewable energy.”

The letter, according to EE Legal, “makes the AGs’s claims to ‘privilege’ to keep their otherwise public records secret — grounded in that purported ‘common interest agreement,’ which plainly lacks the hallmarks such an agreement must have to be proper — not just implausible but patently unlawful.”

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