Tobacco road


A little birdie recently chirped about some usual-suspect state attorneys general preparing a litigation strategy document for/with environmental pressure groups, providing a roadmap for cooperatively replicating the tobacco litigation of a decade ago in the “global warming” context, substituting that projected catastrophe for cancer and “big energy” for tobacco companies.

The point of such exercise would not be to litigate the matter to conclusion — ever more challenging what with forced corrections of the temperature record, recent exposure of the woeful reliability of our own world’s most reliable surface measuring network, and of course no global warming in a decade (or, we now know, since 1900 for that matter) — but to extract massive settlements from the energy industry to further fund the trial lawyers, greens and the greens’ pet projects. Just imagine the anti-energy campaign that this model would yield! And at no cost, really, except to anyone who uses energy and/or invests in these sleepy “granny stocks”. Oh, and the economy.

Given that at least two of the seven requests for information under state freedom of information laws have been received electronically, I am comfortable revealing that a version of the following inquiry has been sent to activist state AGs in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.

We’ll see how what we know squares with what is produced, and go from there, though I have little doubt that some stonewalling will make this a more energy-intensive effort than it should be; but as the tobacco AGs learned, there’s usually one party who coughs up the documents at which point the games must come to an end. In order to save some fun for later, we’ll avoid discussion of the possibilities for follow up:

August 15, 2007

Department of Justice, State of California

Public Records Ombudsman

P.O. Box 944255-2550

Sacramento, CA 95814

Email: [email protected]


By Electronic and Certified Mail

Dear CADOJ Public Records Ombudsman,

Pursuant to The California Public Records Act, Title 1, Division 7 Chapter 3.5 of the Government Code Sections 6250-6270, please provide us within 10 (ten) days all public records as defined therein, which upon information and belief we understand were produced in whole or in part by or are otherwise in the possession of the office(s) of the California Department of Justice, Office of the State Attorney General (herein, “CA AG”) and/or an office(s) falling under its supervision, responsibility and/or control for purposes of state law:

1) All records which, during the period covered by this Request, CA AG provided to and/or received from an outside individual(s) and/or non-governmental or third-party group(s) including but not limited to an “environmental” activist group(s) and/or another state attorney(s) general; and which satisfy either or both of the following two criteria:

a) either generally or specifically, reference both past litigation involving various state attorneys general against tobacco and/or cigarette producers and/or marketers and/or the related settlement(s), and the concept of or hypothetical or possible litigation arising out of or grounded in the issue(s) of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, “global warming” and/or “climate change”;


b) purport to assesses the prospects or desirability of and/or possible approach to the concept of or hypothetical litigation relating to “climate change” and/or “global warming” by CA AG and/or the office of any other state’s attorney general and/or outside, third-party activist groups either individually or in conjunction with your offices or those of any state’s attorney general.


2) All related record(s), correspondence, memoranda, analysis, email or other communications citing or otherwise relating to such record(s), which were sent to, within and/or from CA AG or any office(s) falling under your supervision, responsibility and/or control.

This request contemplates documents in electronic format if you possess them as such, otherwise photocopies are acceptable.

For purposes of clarity and to avoid unnecessary delay and/or unwarranted claims of exemption, note that the records described and sought above are not records reasonably classified as “pre-decisional” or otherwise confidential, by virtue of their being the version(s) of such documents provided to and/or received from a non-governmental group(s) or otherwise from offices outside CA AG’s confidential domain, which are by definition completed products about non-confidential matters by virtue of their distribution and/or origination.

As such and in order to be further clear and avoid unnecessary delay and/or unwarranted claims of exemption, note that responsive records or files are do not under any reasonable interpretation of the term relate to any “pending litigation”; nor do we seek record(s) principally relating to or arising directly from specific past litigation with which CA AG may have been involved, for example Massachusetts v. EPA (although responsive records might cite or reference such litigation). Instead, the record(s) we seek are principally drafted to address the theory, approach or prospects of some civil litigation that has not in fact come about.

Finally, clearly under no interpretation does this request seek “Records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice.”

Please identify responsive or potentially responsive documents within the statutorily prescribed time, and inform us of the basis of any claimed exemptions and to which specific responsive or potentially responsive documents such objection applies. Further, please inform us of the basis of any partial denials or redactions.


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