ExxonMobil Wants Federal Court to Toss Demand for Documents by Massachusetts Attorney General

Published Jun 16, 2016

WASHINGTON (June 16, 2016)—ExxonMobil has filed a complaint with a federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, asking it to throw out Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s demand for documents  as part of her investigation into whether the company deceived its shareholders and the public about the threat of climate change. Attorneys general from California, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also are investigating ExxonMobil. The company has publicly fought the Virgin Islands subpoena.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“No company has a First Amendment right to knowingly provide misinformation about the harm associated with its product. State attorneys general, including in Massachusetts, have every right to investigate whether the company’s actions amounted to an actionable fraud. ExxonMobil claims in its filing to the Fort Worth court that the company ‘has made no statements in the past four years that could give rise to fraud as alleged’ by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and that ‘for more than a decade’ it has ‘publicly acknowledged that climate change presents significant risks.’ Yet, as recently as last month, CEO Rex Tillerson misleadingly spoke about uncertainties in climate science, while ExxonMobil continues to fund industry front groups that also sow doubt about the climate risks of burning oil, coal and gas. There is more than sufficient evidence to warrant the investigation by Attorney General Healey into whether state laws have been violated, and ExxonMobil’s preemptive strike to shut down the investigation before it is completed should not be countenanced."

For more information, read related blog posts by:

  • UCS Center for Science and Democracy analyst Gretchen Goldman, 

   Still Disinforming: ExxonMobil’s Continued Culpability in Climate Denial

  • Climate Institute Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs Mike MacCracken,

   Challenging ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson on Climate Change

  • UCS Climate Accountability Campaign Manager Kathy Mulvey,

   ExxonMobil’s Virtual Reality: A Distorted View of Climate Change