Two top Republican lawmakers are probing Sher Edling, a California-based law firm, over its dark money-fueled climate litigation against oil companies, Fox News Digital has learned.
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.
“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 obtained first 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,” they 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.'”
Cruz and Comer noted that Ann Carlson, the current acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), worked as a consultant for Sher Edling before she joined the Biden administration. Fox News Digital previously reported that she helped raise money from donors for the firm’s litigation, a scheme that involved famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio and helped recruit at least one state, Hawaii, to hire Sher Edling.
They further pointed to Carlson’s work in the administration in which she unveiled strict fuel efficiency regulations that experts said would push more Americans to buy electric vehicles.
“It appears that Ms. Carlson has moved from attacking traditional energy through litigation to attacking it through regulation,” they wrote to Sher Edling’s partners.
The Republicans then demanded Sher Edling provide them with details about Carlson’s work with it in addition to 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.
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 latest such “climate deception” lawsuit was filed by California this month. While it is unclear whether Sher Edling is involved in the case, California’s arguments largely mirror those made by the firm in its litigation.
Sher Edling’s more than 20 ongoing climate lawsuits, though, have received funding from a behemoth left-wing dark money apparatus, Fox News Digital previously reported. Since the firm was established, it has received millions of dollars through the discreet funding stream.
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.
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
“As a fiscal sponsor, NVF provides operational and administrative support, including compliance, financial, back office, legal and HR operations so advocates can focus on their mission,” a New Venture Fund spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital. “We are proud to support Collective Action Fund’s important work.”
While the source of the millions of dollars in funding for Sher Edling funneled through CAF remains unknown, Fox News Digital reported last year that prominent left-wing nonprofits have contributed to CAF. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Emmett Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and JPB Foundation have sent money to CAF.
The Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation was particularly identified by officials involved in the funding scheme as a “serious” supporter.
“Some left-wing groups funnel millions to law firms to sue companies across the country on questionable legal grounds,” Comer remarked 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 continued. “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.”
Source: Fox News