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Energy & Sustainability Litigation Updates — July 2023

Regulatory — Senior Republican congressmen recently sent letters on behalf of the House Committee on the Judiciary to three major asset managers and two nonprofit organizations (the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative), demanding that these organizations produce documents in connection with an allegedly “collusive agreement to ‘decarboni[ze] and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.’” In effect, this Republican-controlled House Committee is pursuing a theory that coordinated efforts to reduce carbon emissions constitute violations of the antitrust laws of the United States. This investigation follows prior signals from prominent Republicans that they perceived antitrust law as a potent means to combat coordination among private sector entities to reduce carbon emissions and reflects a federal counterpart to efforts by several Republican state attorneys general. Nonetheless, this is an escalation from prior tactics, and the anti-ESG efforts of Congressional Republicans should be monitored closely for their potential impact on the private sector.


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Jacob H. Hupart is Co-Chair of the ESG Practice Group and a Member in the firm’s Litigation Section. He has a multifaceted litigation practice that encompasses complex commercial litigation, securities litigation — including class action claims — as well as white collar criminal defense and regulatory investigations. His clients sit in a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, education, health care, and the media.