Four Questions that Need to Be Asked about the Bucks County Climate Lawsuit

After years of environmental activists circling Pennsylvania officials in hopes they’d be the “cherry on top” of their lawfare campaign, Bucks County took the bait and filed a suit on Monday against essential energy producers. But many questions remain, including why the suit was debated quietly with little evident public input and to what extent outside activists helped push it over the finish line.

A review of county public records reveals a conspicuously absent trail of when and how this lawsuit originated. A county meeting from January 3rd appears to mention an executive session that took place on January 2nd that discussed “pending litigation,” but the public is not privy to such a meeting.

Similarly, public meeting minutes show at item on the January 17th meeting agenda to authorize the County Solicitor to enter into a legal agreement with DiCello Levitt, LLP the law firm supporting the county and lawsuit on a 25% contingency fee basis (the firm doesn’t even have a Pennsylvania office, by the way.) However, the public trail runs cold there, with no further information on when, where, and how the debate and vote on this lawsuit took place.

Was there a competitive bid process? What recommendations did the Bucks County Solicitor General make to the Council? Why was this not done under full transparency for Bucks County residents and the general public to debate? The public should be able to any deliberations that catalyzed such an important decision on the part of the county.

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