A scheme by Michael Bloomberg to punish oil producers by placing hand-picked environmental lawyers in attorney general offices could be breaking apart.
The billionaire former mayor of New York City created a pipeline at New York University’s law school called the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center (SEEIC). It grooms law students to become environmentalist attorney and then pays their salaries once they join state attorney general offices across the nation. Maryland Deputy Attorney General Carolyn Quattrocki said in a 2017 email to colleagues that the purpose of hiring SEEIC-sponsored lawyers was driven by partisanship.
“The gist is that Bloomberg is funding through NYU some fellowship positions for midcareer environmental litigators to be farmed out to State Attorneys General to join the fight against Trump’s rollback of our environmental protection laws and regulations,” she wrote.
While Quattrocki and Frosh disclosed their motivations in private emails to colleagues, other states went public about the partnerships. Some of Bloomberg’s partners, however, are distancing themselves from the program amid inquiries from watchdogs, while others are denying their participation.