US. New York state sues Exxon Mobil for deceiving investors on climate-regulation risk
Company engaged in fraudulent behavior that went all the way up to ex-CEO Rex Tillerson, who went on to serve as Trump’s first secretary of state
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has filed a lawsuit against energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp., alleging that it misled investors about the true risks to its business posed by climate-change regulations.
The suit comes after a roughly three-year probe and does not charge the company XOM, -1.03% with contributing to climate change as a major emitter of greenhouse gases, or with suppressing climate science, as has been alleged in the past. Instead, the suit alleges that Exxon deceived investors in public presentations on what regulation would mean for its balance sheet, earnings, and the value of oil and gas reserves and other assets. The suit is being brought under the Martin Act, New York’s antifraud law, which is viewed as one of the most severe blue-sky laws in the country.
“This is a very serious allegation of fraud, and the implication is that they have documents to support it,” said lawyer Daniel Riesel, a partner at Sive, Paget & Riesel, which specializes in environmental law.
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