States Investigate Exxon, Launch Corporate Climate Fraud Crackdown


by | Mar 30, 2016

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ExxonMobilMassachusetts will investigate whether ExxonMobil lied to the public and investors about climate change risks to its business, joining New York and California in investigating the oil giant.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the probe yesterday, at a press conference with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, former vice president Al Gore and others to announce attorneys general from 16 states and the Virgin Islands have agreed to work together on climate-change related initiatives including investigating fossil fuel companies.

The coalition includes attorney generals from California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and the US Virgin Islands.

“Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change must be held accountable,” Healey said at the press conference, adding that there is a “troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew, and the company and industry chose to share with investors and the American public.”

In a statement, US Virgin Islands attorney general Claude Earl Walker said he may also go after Exxon for misleading consumers: “If ExxonMobil has tried to cloud their judgment, we are determined to hold the company accountable.”

All of the attorney generals’ states are also part of a coalition of 25 states, cities and counties that on Tuesday filed briefs in defense of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Last week the SEC ruled Exxon must allow its shareholders to vote on a climate change resolution that would force the company to disclose how climate change would affect its business.

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