GOP lawmakers demand answer on Hollywood A-lister allegedly funding Big Oil lawsuits

Two Republican lawmakers are demanding answers concerning a California-based law firm that is going after oil companies with dark money.

The law firm is Sher Edling, which is reportedly being fueled by leftist money sources, including actor/climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio. It is engaging in climate litigation against Big Oil, according to Fox News Digital.

“In a letter sent to Sher Edling partners Vic Sher and Matt Edling on Monday morning, Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., expressed concern about their firm’s activities in targeting major energy companies nationwide. The GOP lawmakers further probed Sher Edling’s relationship with a top Biden administration official over crafting climate policy,” Fox News reported.

The two Republicans are charging that the intention of the lawsuits is to kill off the fossil fuel industry.

“It appears that Sher Edling is not really working on these lawsuits on a contingency basis, but rather the lawsuits are being funded, tax-free, by wealthy liberals via dark money pass-through funds,” they both wrote, citing two prominent funds: the Resources Legacy Fund and New Venture Fund.

“While people may use their resources to bring whatever cases they want — even those that may be so frivolous as to be sanctionable — it appears that left-wing funds are footing the bill for Sher Edling’s climate crusade,” Cruz and Comer wrote in the letter that was obtained by Fox News Digital. “Radical activists are backing these lawsuits, too.”

“Sher Edling purports to be taking a righteous gamble that this ludicrous argument will pan out,” the letter continued. “The firm shopped these lawsuits to jurisdictions around the country. And to convince them to sign up for what is likely to be very costly litigation, Sher Edling agreed to provide its legal service at no cost unless it obtained a ‘settlement against the industry.'”

Even more disturbing is the fact that Ann Carlson, the current acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), worked as a consultant for the law firm before she came on board with the Biden administration. It was previously reported by Fox News that she assisted in raising funds from donors for the firm’s radical litigation. The scheme reportedly involved the state of Hawaii and DiCaprio.

Cruz and Comer alluded to Carlson’s work in the Biden administration where she unveiled strict fuel efficiency regulations that, according to experts, were intended to force Americans to switch over to electric vehicles.

“It appears that Ms. Carlson has moved from attacking traditional energy through litigation to attacking it through regulation,” the conservatives wrote to Sher Edling’s partners.

The high-profile Republicans are demanding that the leftist law firm hand over details concerning Carlson’s work. They also want a detailed accounting of the firm’s funding.

“Since 2016, the year Sher Edling was founded, the firm has pursued aggressive climate-related litigation on behalf of Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Baltimore, Honolulu, and several local governments across the country. The first-of-their-kind lawsuits allege major oil companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell have deceived the public about climate change,” Fox News continued.

“On its website, the firm says its climate practice seeks to hold oil companies accountable for the alleged ‘deception.’ It claims that the fossil fuel industry has known for decades that burning fossil fuels would cause global warming, thus making the industry responsible for mass human devastation caused by such human-induced climate change,” the media outlet noted.

The latest so-called “climate deception” lawsuit was filed in California this month. It is unknown at this point if Sher Edling is involved in the case but it’s a good bet they are. The state’s arguments are a reflection of those made by the law firm.

Sher Edling has reportedly received a ton of funding from left-wing dark money entities to further over 20 ongoing climate lawsuits.

“According to tax filings, between 2017 and 2020, the secretive Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience, and Adaptation (CAF) wired more than $5.2 million to Sher Edling. Then, in 2021 alone, CAF funneled another $3 million to the firm,” Fox News noted.

“CAF switched its fiscal sponsorship from the Resources Legacy Fund to the New Venture Fund (NVF), a nonprofit that is part of the left-wing Arabella Advisors network and which boasts deep connections to big-dollar Democratic Party donors, sometime in 2021,” the outlet further reported.

Though the sources of the deep well of dark money being funneled into CAF are unknown, it is public record that prominent left-wing nonprofits have contributed to them. According to Fox News, those include, “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Emmett Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the JPB Foundation.”

“Some left-wing groups funnel millions to law firms to sue companies across the country on questionable legal grounds,” Comer stated during a Sept. 13 Oversight Committee hearing on third-party litigation funding. “They are trying to use the courts to put these companies out of business or limit their ability to bring new products to market.”

“These activist groups will find plaintiffs and pour millions into claims against energy, mining, and manufacturing companies to the detriment of consumers, innovation, national security, the workforce, and even to plaintiffs themselves – all in the name of political activism,” he asserted.

“These groups know that their tactics and goals are too extreme for the American people to support. So, rather than use the electoral process, they are implementing their agenda through litigation against both the public and private sectors,” Comer concluded.

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