Description: Lawsuit to compel disclosure of information related to the Joint Task Force on Energy Security created by the United States and European Union after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Friends of the Earth v. U.S. Department of State
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/31/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Group Brought FOIA Suit Against State Department Seeking Information on Energy Security Task Force. Friends of the Earth (FoE) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State in the federal district court for the District of Columbia in connection with its request for information related to the Joint Task Force on Energy Security created by the United States and European Union approximately a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In particular, FoE sought ethics documentation, communications, and calendar entries for a “leading member” of the Task Force whom FoE alleged had “close ties” to the natural gas industry. FoE alleged that the Task Force had two primary goals: “(1) to diversify LNG supplies in alignment with climate objectives; and (2) to reduce demand for natural gas.” FoE further alleged that the Task Force’s work was characterized by a “lack of transparency” that “underscored serious concerns that the Task Force may be subject to influence and pressure from fossil industry representatives.” FoE alleged that there was an “urgent need” for the information sought, including because the Task Force was meeting “in secret to discuss a wide-range of policies and commit to long-term courses of action with potentially dire and irreversible implications for climate change and the future of sustainable energy in the United States and abroad.” FoE charged that the State Department had violated FOIA by denying its request for expedited processing and failing to provide any explanation for its denial and by failing to provide all non-exempt information to the plaintiffs.