For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2016

Contact:
Craig Richardson
Richardson@eelegal.org
703-981-5553

E&E Legal Forced to Sue Vermont Attorney General to Release Public Records Related to Conspiracy of AG’s Seeking to Use RICO to Punish and Silence Climate Change ‘Deniers’

Washington, DC – Today the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) filed suit against the Vermont Attorney General, for records relating to that Office’s ongoing investigation into those who dissent from green activists’ preferred views on climate change and the “climate” political agenda.

On May 10, 2016, E&E Legal and FME Law submitted a request to the Office of the Vermont Attorney General (OAG) seeking correspondence records of two OAG employees, which records contained certain keywords relating to the Vermont Attorney General’s investigation into “racketeering” in the form of declining to adhere to the activists’ preferred views on climate change, and the activists’ preferred government policies in the name of climate change. Other public records previously obtained detail that those two Vermont employees worked with the New York Attorney General’s Office and others to coordinate the investigations that have already led to subpoenas being issued against conservative think tanks and others.

“When we first submitted a public records request to Vermont in March, they seemed to follow the letter of that state’s freedom of information law, promptly turning over relevant documents in a very timely manner,” said David W. Schnare, E&E Legal General Counsel.  “The enormous fallout from those revelations has, unfortunately, been followed by slow-walking of other requests in Vermont, and state after state where their attorney general is involved in this conspiracy to stop dissent using RICO statutes.  Earlier correspondence between Vermont and New York’s attorney generals’ offices suggests they are facing pressure to not follow their own laws in order to keep secret public documents the public has a right to see.”

Correspondence E&E Legal and FME Law have already obtained from Vermont’s Attorney General shows that New York employees pressured Vermont to return records to New York to prevent those records from being disclosed to the public. To Vermont’s credit, they initially refused, writing to NY OAG on March 28 to say that not only was this contrary to law but New York was also essentially asking Vermont’s Attorney General to force individuals to sue to obtain access to records under Vermont law. Regrettably, that is now the posture Vermont is taking, after initial productions under Vermont law sparked an outcry among those who seek racketeering investigations against opponents of the climate change political agenda, Vermont stopped complying with its own law.

E&E Legal’s May 10 request was initially delayed until May 24, which is the longest extension allowable under Vermont law. When E&E Legal and FME Law received no response by mid-June, they were forced to sue the Vermont Attorney General to bring him back into compliance with his own state’s laws and obtain records to which the public is entitled.  This is one of two requests languishing in Vermont, and one of many going nowhere fast in numerous states.

E&E Legal and FME Law v. The Attorney General of Vermont is currently pending in the Superior Court of Washington County, Vermont.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.

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