State AGs rebuked for ‘soliciting billionaires’ in climate cases

State AGs rebuked for ‘soliciting billionaires’ in climate cases

  • June 3, 2022

Lesley Clark, E&E News

A program that began as a way to boost challenges against the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks has sparked conservative backlash in state capitols across the country.

Opponents of climate liability litigation that targets the fossil fuel industry have launched an assault against a Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored fellowship program that provides “special assistant” staffers to state attorneys general.

At issue is a program run by New York University’s State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, which launched in 2017 with a $6 million grant from the charitable foundation led by climate activist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Critics last year seized on the NYU fellowship program as part of a campaign against former State Impact Center Deputy Director Elizabeth Klein, whose nomination to be deputy secretary of the Interior Department was pulled amid opposition from powerful members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that she was too hostile to oil and gas interests.

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