Thursday 8 December 2022
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New York State Supreme Court Orders ExxonMobile to Unseal and Release Climate Change Documents

703px-exxonmobil_logo-svgOil giant ExxonMobile is in hot water with the New York State Supreme Court. In a recent court ruling by New York State, ExxonMobile must produce documents concerning their policies against climate change for the past four decades.

This entire court ruling is based off of a decision that was made in Texas where ExxonMobile decided not to release their documents in a decision saying that it violated accountant-client privilege.

The controversy at the center of this entire dispute is whether ExxonMobile knew decades ago that climate change was a real threat to the environment and whether the company improperly concealed the information from their investors and clients. If so, this would be a breach of the Martin Act, which gives the New York State Attorney General the power to pursue a fraud investigation against the company.

Plus, ExxonMobile is involved with climate change in more ways than one. This international oil and gas corporation produces fuel for millions of cars nationwide. Collectively, the fuel in these cars and trucks accounts for almost one-fifth of all U.S. emissions, emitting 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gasses for every gallon of gas burned.

In response, Exxon has claimed that they didn’t know about climate change and that the attorney generals have a hidden political agenda. However, they have denied releasing their documents through the company PricewaterhouseCoopers, as they believe their rights to free speech have been disregarded.

However, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Exxon’s interpretation of the Texas statue was flawed, and ruled that the oil giant must produce their documents as soon as possible.

“We are pleased with the Court’s order and look forward to moving full-steam ahead with our fraud investigation of Exxon,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Exxon had no legal basis to interfere with PwC’s production, and I hope that today’s order serves as a wake up call to Exxon that the best thing they can do is cooperate with, rather than resist, our investigation