Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’

Environmental and government accountability advocates on Tuesday expressed concern over a report that President-elect Joe Biden is considering a corporate attorney who defended oil giant Royal Dutch Shell…

Environmental and government accountability advocates on Tuesday expressed concern over a report that President-elect Joe Biden is considering a corporate attorney who defended oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in climate liability lawsuits for the post of solicitor general. 

HuffPost reports David Frederick, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, can boast some solid progressive victories in the U.S. Supreme Court. He represented Tyson Foods workers in a successful wage theft case, took on tobacco titan Altria over false claims of “safer” cigarettes, and argued against a BP gas facility in Delaware, to name but a handful of the at least 50 cases Frederick has argued before the nation’s highest court.

“Experience in the energy industry is not a prerequisite for solicitor general, and there are plenty of people who have extensive careers that don’t include defending oil companies.”
—Jesse Bragg,
Corporate Accountability 

However, Frederick also defended Shell against lawsuits seeking to hold the company—which has known about the dangers of anthropogenic climate change since at least the 1980s—legally liable for the damage it has caused. Frederick argued that such suits have no legitimate legal grounds and should be dismissed. He further asserted that Shell could only be sued for climate issues in the Netherlands, where the company is based. 

Frederick’s position in the lawsuits stands in stark conflict with several members of the incoming Biden administration including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken, climate envoy John Kerry, climate czar Gina McCarthy, and health and human services secretary pick Xavier Becerra—all of whom have signed legal briefs in support of a lawsuit brought by Oakland and San Francisco against five fossil fuel companies. 

Some progressive advocates argue Frederick’s defense of Shell should disqualify him from consideration for solicitor general, noting that Biden campaigned on promises of holding those responsible for the climate crisis accountable—he even threatened to prosecute and imprison Big Oil executives complicit in such crimes. 

Speaking at a December 2019 town hall-style campaign event in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Biden declared that he would hold fossil fuel corporation leaders “liable for what they have done,” adding that “when they don’t want to deliver, put them in jail; I’m not joking about this.”

Jesse Bragg, the media director at the Boston-based anti-corruption group Corporate Accountability, told HuffPost that “experience in the energy industry is not a prerequisite for solicitor general, and there are plenty of people who have extensive careers that don’t include defending oil companies.”

Jeff Hauser, director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Revolving Door Project, said that “Frederick is selling to Shell the fact that he is a progressive, and there ought to be consequences for his progressive bona fides when he does that.”

“There’s no lack for public interest and public service-experienced litigators,” Hauser added. “We don’t need to rotate between Republican Big Law and Democratic Big Law.”


Print Share Comment Cite Upload Translate
APA
Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site (2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00) » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’. Retrieved from https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/.
MLA
" » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’." Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site - Tuesday January 5, 2021, https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/
HARVARD
Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site Tuesday January 5, 2021 » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’., viewed 2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00,<https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/>
VANCOUVER
Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site - » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’. [Internet]. [Accessed 2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00]. Available from: https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/
CHICAGO
" » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’." Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site - Accessed 2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00. https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/
IEEE
" » Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’." Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site [Online]. Available: https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/. [Accessed: 2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00]
rf:citation
» Climate Campaigners to Biden: Your Solicitor General ‘Should Not Be a Lawyer Who Fought for Big Oil’ | Common Dreams | Just another WordPress site | https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/01/05/climate-campaigners-to-biden-your-solicitor-general-should-not-be-a-lawyer-who-fought-for-big-oil/ | 2021-10-24T10:04:09+00:00
https://github.com/addpipe/simple-recorderjs-demo