President Biden’s nominee to run the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was previously involved in a dark-money attempt to file numerous climate nuisance lawsuits across the country.
Ann Carlson, who currently serves as acting NHTSA administrator, was a former professor of environmental law at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also served as co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment. During her time at the institute, she coordinated with its chairman, Dan Emmett, to raise money for lawsuits aimed at crippling the fossil fuel industry.
Carlson and Emmett revealed details about their behind-the-scenes efforts to spearhead the litigation in 2017 and 2018 email correspondence obtained by watchdog Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO) and highlighted in a Fox News Digital report last year became. The two worked to raise money, which was then channeled through charitable organizations to private law firm Sher Edling.
In their emails, Emmett and Carlson discuss how Chuck Savitt, Sher Edling’s director of strategic client relations, had sought Emmett’s support and had already received support from Terry Tamminen in his role as CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a position he held between 2016 and 2016 Tamminen is now a member of the Advisory Board of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment.
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“Chuck Savitt, who leads this new organization behind the lawsuits, has sought our support,” Emmett wrote to Carlson on July 22, 2017. “Terry Tamminen has been a key supporter in his new role at the DiCaprio Foundation.”
Emmett also forwarded a message Savitt sent him three days earlier on July 19, 2017, asking for his support. Savitt mentioned in the earlier email that Sher Edling’s first lawsuits were filed with support from the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience and Adaptation, a fund then managed by the Dark Money Group Resources Legacy Fund (RLF).
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“I wanted to let you know that on Monday we filed the first three lawsuits backed by the Collective Action Fund,” Savitt Emmett said in the email. “These precedents call on 37 of the world’s leading fossil fuel companies to take responsibility for the devastating damage that sea level rise — caused by their greenhouse gas emissions — is inflicting on coastal communities.”
Sher Edling deleted mention of Savitt from his website two days after Fox News Digital first reported on the emails in August.
The email correspondence between Carlson and Emmett came two months before the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation made a public announcement that it would donate $20 million in grants to various climate and conservation projects. The group’s announcement, which has since come deleted but remains archivedincluded a grant to the RLF “to support precedents to hold big companies in the fossil fuel industry liable,” which accurately reflects Savitt’s language.
And in 2018, records showed that Carlson emailed Emmett asking if she could mention his involvement and that of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in the fundraising program to other potential donors.
Emmett gave the green light to the idea, adding that she could tell others that “Terry’s organization and I are both serious supporters, that you’re an advisor, that the science is there, that it could do more for the environment than that pretty much everything that goes on when it succeeds.”
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In addition to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Emmett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the JPB Foundation have contributed to the Collective Action Fund since 2017. The RLF, in turn, controlled more than $5.2 million at Sher Edling between 2017 and 2020, according to the group’s tax returns for the period.
RLF’s tax sponsorship of the Collective Action Fund was then quietly shifted to the New Venture Fund — a nonprofit incubator of the billion-dollar dark money network managed by consulting firm Arabella Advisors — which raised $3 million in 2021 alone Dollars transferred to Sher Edling, showing additional tax returns.
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Overall, Sher Edling has filed lawsuits on behalf of the states of Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, and the cities of Washington, DC, New York City, Baltimore, Honolulu, and San Francisco, as well as several other cities and counties nationwide. The lawsuits allege that fossil fuel companies have been running deception campaigns about the science of climate change for decades.
“Obviously, the donors — including DiCaprio — created several alleged arm’s lengths,” Chris Horner, an attorney representing GAO in a case involving the emails, told Fox News Digital in August.
“This model used a few pass-throughs that DiCaprio and it appears Dan Emmett and others were able to direct through, including the DiCaprio Foundation and the Resources Legacy Fund, and they are not considered to have funded the attack,” added Horner added.
The White House announced Monday that Carlson’s nomination for NHTSA administrator has been sent to the Senate for confirmation. NHTSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Source : www.foxnews.com