Oakland’s public employee pensions are notoriously underfunded and its schools had to be bailed out by the state. So why does Oakland bring expensive lawsuits against America’s energy companies – and how do they pay for it? The answer might be found in the money trail that leads from hedge fund kingpin Tom Steyer to the pet program of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
A groundbreaking investigative story by the Daily Caller News Foundation has uncovered a $500,000 payment by eco-billionaire Steyer to Mayor Schaaf’s “Oakland Promise Generation Fund and Children’s Initiative” – the mayor’s favorite educational initiative.
With the donation in hand, Steyer’s staff then reached out and asked for a private meeting with Mayor Schaaf to discuss a “time sensitive” matter.
“Time sensitive?” You bet it was. Because 5 days later, Oakland announced it would sue America’s energy companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron on the frivolous claim that the energy producers are the ones to blame for global warming.
It’s not the first time Steyer has used his cash to leverage cities to clog the courts with expensive, time-consuming litigation about global warming.
Records unveiled by the Daily Caller News Foundation show a $30,000 Steyer campaign payment to the mayor of San Francisco – just before the mayor announced yet another climate change lawsuit.
In New York, Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the leaders of the movement to use the courts to blame energy companies for global warming, tried to finagle meetings and phone calls with Steyer.
One of Schneiderman’s aides even tried to arrange a meeting with Steyer, specifically mentioning Schneiderman’s need for support for a gubernatorial race – and mentioning Schneiderman’s own investigation of ExxonMobil.
“Eric Schneiderman would like to have a call with Tom regarding support for his race for governor…regarding Exxon case,” reads the March 1, 2016 email from Schneiderman’s deputy to Steyer.
Like we said, justice for sale.