Washington State Attorney General Sued for Dodging Transparency, Public Records Laws

On the same day that a handful of California municipalities seeking to revive their climate litigation crusade presented oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the non-profit public interest law firm Government Accountability and Oversight (GAO) filed a lawsuit on February 5th against the office of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for obscuring its communications around pursuing climate litigation against America’s energy producers.

The lawsuit claims that the attorney general’s office improperly redacted a series of emails and memos between public officials and plaintiffs’ lawyer Matt Pawa – one of the original masterminds of the climate litigation campaign. In 2012, Pawa worked alongside the Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) at a conference which sought to develop ways to bring litigation and other enforcement action against energy companies. He has continued to work tirelessly to recruit “sympathetic” state attorneys general for his climate litigation campaign ever since.


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