Exxon Loses Again in Court Attempt to Dodge Climate Change Probe

Exxon Mobil Corp. suffered another legal defeat in its attempt to dodge state investigations into whether the company’s public comments about climate change misled investors for years.

Massachusetts’ top court on April 13 affirmed a judge’s decision that Exxon must hand over documents dating back to 1976 to Attorney General Maura Healey.

The court also agreed that Exxon’s 300 Mobil-branded franchise service stations in the state give Healey sufficient jurisdiction over the Texas-based company.

Weighing in on the overall environmental threat at the heart of the dispute, the court wrote that Healey’s investigation concerns climate change “caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions—a distinctly modern threat that grows more serious with time, and the effects of which are already being felt in Massachusetts.“

In an April 13 conference call with reporters, Healey said the ruling should put an end to Exxon’s “scorched-earth campaign” to block investigations. “For two years now, Exxon has been fighting us at every turn while we are just seeking to do our job.“

The case is Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Attorney Gen., Mass., No. SJC-12376, 4/13/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net