NY AG Blocks Inquiry into Anti-Exxon Witch Hunt

NY AG Blocks Inquiry into Anti-Exxon Witch Hunt

By James Powers

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is happy to investigate others, but won’t cooperate when he is the one under investigation.

Schneiderman is still refusing to comply with a FOIA request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, The Daily Caller reported March 17. The FOIA, filed in May 2016, requested emails between Schneiderman’s office and activist donors that may have inspired his investigation into ExxonMobil.

The New York Supreme Court ruled in November 2016 that Schneiderman must fully comply “with the intent and purpose” of the statute requiring him to turn over pertinent information within 30 days. So far, 115 days have passed since the ruling.

According to The Daily Caller, Schneiderman has refused to comply with the NY Supreme Court ruling based on “a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) ‘law enforcement’ exemption.”

Former New York attorney general Dennis Vacco wrote an editorial on March 14 saying this exemption should not apply here. Releasing Schneiderman’s emails would “shed light on whether the investigation is proper or an abuse of power” as well as “reveal the real role of the special interests in the investigation,” Vacco argued.

Schneiderman initially launched an investigation into ExxonMobil in November 2016, after InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times and Columbia Journalism School all accused Exxon of hiding man-made climate change from their shareholders.

The initial investigations were funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Initially Rockefeller Family Fund director Lee Wasserman claimed the foundation was funding climate research in general. But he admitted on Dec. 8, 2016, the foundation had targeted Exxon all along.