Thursday, July 12, 2018


He Sues to Discredit Climate Scientists. Now He’s Being Sued by His Allies.

David Schnare’s conservative legal group seeks to expose science fraud. But it appears to be imploding amid allegations of financial mismanagement, attempted extortion and faked documents.

By John Schwartz  THE NEW YORK TIMES     
July 11, 2018
David Schnare, center, a founder of the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic. He also worked at the Environmental Protection Agency last year under Scott Pruitt, the former administrator.CreditSusan Walsh/Associated Press
FAIRFAX, Va. — The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic has long sought to inject doubt into the public conversation about global warming. Now, the future of the group itself is in doubt.
Its founders are battling in court over control of the group, as well as some $900,000 in its bank account. One of them, David Schnare, has been accused by his former allies of botching the group’s tax-exempt status and of attempting to extort a quarter-million dollars from its coffers.
It all comes at a time when Free Market — which made a name for itself using the legal system to obtain climate scientists’ emails — should be ascendant. The Trump administration shares its views on environmental regulation and its dismissal of climate science. And Mr. Schnare, 70, was part of the Trump “beachhead team” at the Environmental Protection Agency during the transition between presidential administrations, though he did not last long there.
Mr. Schnare, in an interview, initially expressed reluctance to discuss the situation at Free Market. “Attorneys are not supposed to talk about and try cases in the press,” he said. Then he added, “I completely deny all these nasty accusations.”