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Supreme Court Sides Against Exxon in Climate Case

by Axios | Updated on 1.8.19

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected ExxonMobil's bid to review the Massachusetts attorney general's demand for internal documents about what the company knew about climate change over the course of decades.

Why it matters: The order, issued without comment, enables Attorney General Maura Healey to continue probing whether the oil giant misled investors and consumers about global warming and its effects on Exxon's business.

The big picture: The case is part of a broader legal effort by some Democratic state officials and investigative journalists to explore the oil industry's internal consideration of climate change.

  • New York's AG sued the company in October, alleging Exxon defrauded shareholders by downplaying the expected risk of future climate change policies on its business and assets.

What they're saying: "Today’s #SCOTUS victory clears the way for our office to investigate Exxon’s conduct toward consumers and investors. The public deserves answers from this company about what it knew about the impacts of burning fossil fuels, and when," Healey tweeted.

The other side: Exxon did not comment Monday on the Supreme Court's decision.

  • In the now-rejected petition, Exxon said the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling last April that upheld the probe was a "breathtaking assertion of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant."
  • The company has called the New York lawsuit "baseless allegations" based on "closed-door lobbying by special interests" and "political opportunism."

Go deeper: New York makes its move against Exxon

Axios

Written by Axios

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Leave a comment
(57)
  • Bmarkis
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Good. Like big tobacco we are now finding that this industry knew of the damage they were causing and lied about it to consumers and shareholders to make their product more desirable. They need to be held accountable for the damage they have caused and help with efforts to reverse said damage.

    Like (36)
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  • Bonnie
    Voted Apathetic
    01/08/2019
    ···

    People are confused about the limits of judicial review vs. legislative action vs. executive authority. The SCOTUS decision in this case is not about the president’s climate change denial or Exxon’s contribution to global warming. It’s more about Exxon having to surrender data about how projections about climate change were expected to affect Exxon’s future business performance for shareholders. It’s about a state AG trying to gather evidence about what Exxon execs might have done to misdirect or withhold information that potential investors could reasonably expect to be advised of. It could have just as easily been in the context of economic indicators instead of environmental indicators.

    Like (7)
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  • Fg
    Voted Sad
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Crazy Crazy Crazy. What next Amazon misrepresented my purchase therefore should be investigated by the state attorney general

    Like (6)
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  • Nina
    01/09/2019
    ···

    Good. They need to own up to their share of our pollution problem!

    Like (3)
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  • Tinee
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Score one for the environment & every life in it.

    Like (13)
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  • RAN
    Voted Sad
    01/08/2019
    ···

    This crap is ridiculous

    Like (3)
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  • Bernie
    01/09/2019
    ···

    It’s a fraud whether they knew about it or not. Warming is not happening. Temperatures are flat. This is socialist mythology dressed up as “science.” Exxon should stop selling oil to Massachusetts.

    Like (1)
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  • Leon
    Voted Apathetic
    01/09/2019
    ···

    It just means the People will have to pay for it.

    Like (1)
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  • Ken
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Now if we could just get the supreme court to side against Trump and his fool hearted anti clean environment views.

    Like (11)
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  • Zachary
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    It’s time our country, and democracy, stand up to big tobacco and big oil companies. We must curb climate change, and hold all those responsible accountable for their actions. Everyone must fight climate change, and we must stand up to those who continue denying it or those who continue contributing to it(not at the individual standpoint).

    Like (10)
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  • Robert
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Sock it to “Profits over Climate” companies🤗

    Like (9)
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  • Azrael
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Wow About time

    Like (9)
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  • Lauren
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Yes! Take big oil down. They need to face the consequences of their greed and recklessness.

    Like (9)
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  • David
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Such a rare case of justice being served.

    Like (8)
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  • Steve
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Protect the Earth.

    Like (7)
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  • J
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    The oil companies have known the truth for years. It’s time for the companies to use their expertise to solve the climate change problems and admit the error of their ways.

    Like (6)
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  • Jann
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Misleading the people when it affects their life and health ARE CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE OF THE UNION, justice must prevail.

    Like (5)
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  • Kimberly
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Finally. Hold big oil accountable all the way!

    Like (5)
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  • Arlene
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    I am gaining more and more respect for judge Roberts daily. He’s showing himself to be a righteous centrist and not a trump/republican flunky. Proud of this decision.

    Like (4)
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  • Donna
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    I applaud the NYS Attorney General for finally holding big oil responsible for misrepresenting their products to consumers and shareholders.

    Like (4)
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  • John
    Voted Happy
    01/08/2019
    ···

    Let’s start holding Big Oil responsible!

    Like (3)
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  • tituswife
    Voted Sad
    01/08/2019
    ···

    What's wrong with this Supreme Court? Refusing to hear a case against Planned Parenthood, now accepting the unproven man caused global warming?

    Like (3)
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