LBN’s Emily Collins reports that Exxon Mobil is back in the news, this time in the context of climate change. The New York attorney general has opened an investigation to determine whether the company withheld information about the potential risks of climate change that could be linked to petroleum products. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena to the energy company seeking financial records, emails, and other documents.
The point of the investigation is to determine whether Exxon Mobil’s statements to its shareholders about the risks of climate square with the company’s own scientific research. The New York investigation will cover at least a decade, during which time the company “funded groups to undermine scientific studies involving climate change.” During that same time, in-house scientists at Exxon Mobil were explaining the potential consequences and uncertainties of climate change to company executives.
Kenneth Cohen, Exxon Mobil’s vice-president for public affairs, has said that the company unequivocally rejects allegations that the company suppressed climate change research. The company says it “has included information about the business risk of climate change for many years in our 10-K, Corporate Citizenship Report and in other reports to shareholders.”
The issue has continued to heat up. The Washington Post reports that “more than 50 environmental and civil rights groups” have urged U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a federal investigation into Exxon Mobil. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have also spoken out against Exxon Mobil.
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