The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI), which brands itself as the home of “free-market environmentalism through strategic litigation,” has lost another round of said strategic litigation. An Arizona court has ruled that a large collection of e-mails from faculty at state universities can remain private.
The group (formerly the American Tradition Institute) has been attempting to obtain the e-mails of climate scientists who work at state universities through the states’ freedom of information laws. In cases where e-mails are not released, EELI has sued. Last year, it lost a case in Virginia that focused on the e-mails of climate scientist Michael Mann, as a court ruled that information about research still in progress could be shielded from freedom of information requests in that state.
In the new case, the EELI went after the e-mails of faculty at state universities in Arizona, apparently including two who attempt to reconstruct past climates using proxies for global temperature: Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes. The state Board of Regents refused to release over 1,700 e-mails, saying they were private, involved student information, or discussed ongoing research projects. This prompted EELI to sue.
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