Lawsuits Seek Transparency On Coordination Between State Attorneys General Offices And Outside Organizations

Last week, two state attorneys general spearheading the climate litigation campaign against energy companies, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, were sued by government watchdogs for refusing to turn over records regarding their coordination with outside organizations.

Alleging the improper influence of private interests on these law enforcement officials, public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C. (GAO) filed the lawsuits against the Minnesota and Massachusetts attorneys general on behalf of the nonprofit transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (EPA), after neither state complied with open records requests.

Since the comprehensive failure of the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil over accounting fraud allegations last year, Healey and Ellison have picked up the baton in the flawed climate litigation campaign focused on ExxonMobil and other energy companies over alleged consumer and investor fraud. To support their lawsuits, both offices have coordinated extensively with a variety of outside organizations including plaintiffs’ lawyers, academics, activist groups, and privately funded attorneys. The extent of their coordination with these private, outside groups is what these lawsuits from GAO and EPA seek to uncover.

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