WASHINGTON – Today the Institute for Energy Research filed an open records lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury relating to continuing efforts in Washington to quietly advance the “climate” industry. This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks certain, specific records relating to the “climate risk disclosure” campaign begun in 2012 by various activist groups including Ceres and Rockefeller Financial Asset Management and led by disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. That agenda, if implemented, would have immense economic and legal consequences.
In order to educate the public on this matter IER requested correspondence of the Director of the Office of Energy & Environment Peter Wisner over two specified periods during 2017 and 2018, which mention particular terms including “Bloomberg task force,” “G20,” “Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosure,” “climate risk disclosure,” and/or “climate financial disclosure.”
As IER noted in the FOIA request, “This request is made to inform the public about an issue of great public interest, particularly the effort of government employees and outside activist networks’ coordination to advance a government policy — ‘climate risk disclosure’ — that would have tremendous economic and legal consequences.”
Treasury was required by law to demonstrate by June 28 that it intends to process the requests, yet failed to do so even after invoking a ten-day extension. Chiefly, Treasury has failed to provide any responsive records and otherwise has failed to meet its statutory obligation under FOIA. Instead, the agency merely acknowledged receipt of the request.
IER President Thomas J. Pyle stated, “Thanks to previous open records requests, we know that the campaign for ‘climate risk disclosure’ began in 2012 by pressure groups, Wall Street interests, and activist politicians led by Mr. Schneiderman. Now we understand that senior Trump administration officials are possibly working to advance this campaign.
“IER intends to educate the public on what role Treasury officials are playing in assisting the move to impose activist-demanded ‘confessions’ by publicly traded companies of their causation of serious, man-made global warming, seeking penance at the hands of a ‘climate’ securities tort bar, and elected officials eager for large settlement funds to politically distribute.”
Attorney Chris Horner, of the public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO), filed the suit on behalf of IER, and has written extensively on the issue, including earlier this year in a Wall Street Journal letter:
“The effective goal [of the climate risk disclosure campaign] is to coerce ‘confessions’ in energy-related interests’ public filings that catastrophic man-made global warming is a real problem of which they constitute a significant part, that their reserves are in fact worth little to nothing and their previous filings and other statements constitute actionable misdeeds, possibly fraud.”
IER looks forward to resolving the Treasury Department’s public obligations sooner rather than later but intends to fully pursue its rights to review these records in an effort to educate the public about the role of public officials in this ideological campaign with implications for the United States economy.
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