March 29, 2016

Science Group Welcomes Massachusetts Investigation into ExxonMobil over Climate Deception

BOSTON (March 29, 2016)—Today Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that she will join the attorneys general of New York and California in investigating ExxonMobil for misleading investors and the public about the reality and risks of climate change. Claude Walker, attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, also announced that he has launched a related investigation. The announcements came on the same day that California State Senator Ben Allen introduced the Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act, which would extend the statute of limitations under California’s Unfair Competition Law from four to 30 years, giving state and local law enforcement more leeway to prosecute fossil fuel companies.

Below is statement by Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has taken a major step to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and hold it accountable for deceptive practices that have put citizens of our state and the world at great risk from climate change. By joining together with New York, California and the U.S. Virgin Islands in pursuing such investigations, she is confirming that the evidence of deception by ExxonMobil warrants serious consideration of whether state laws have been violated.

“ExxonMobil needs to stop investing in climate deception, come clean about the extent and severity of the company’s efforts to sow doubt, and take immediate action to mitigate the harm they have caused. For example, ExxonMobil should follow the lead of other fossil fuel companies by stopping its financial support for the climate-denying American Legislative Exchange Council.

“Healey’s investigation should affect the way the public and lawmakers view ExxonMobil and thereby ExxonMobil’s ability to thwart effective U.S. climate and clean energy policies.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.