by Anne Galloway
VT Digger

A national conservative group has taken the Vermont Attorney General’s office to court over allegations that state officials have blocked release of public records for political reasons.

The Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., has sued over communications between the attorneys general of Vermont and New York State.

Bill Sorrell, the former Vermont attorney general, was part of a Climate Change Coalition of 19 states that considered investigating Exxon Mobil over allegations that the oil giant for decades hid research about the tie between fossil fuel consumption and the dangers of global warming, and, in so doing, deceived investors and the public…

Matthew Hardin, an attorney for Energy and Environment Legal Institute, says because Vermont shared information with New York state and then didn’t actually file a lawsuit the attorney general has no right to withhold the records.

“You can’t share something and then say it’s secret,” Hardin said in an interview.

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