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Exxon Lashes Out as NY AG Turns Up the Heat

Exxon Lashes Out as NY AG Turns Up the Heat

ExxonMobil asked a New York court Friday to reject Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's latest subpoena request in an attempt to push back against allegations it misled investors on climate risk. In the filing, the company called Schneiderman's latest allegations "inflammatory, reckless and false" and his 1.5-year investigation of Exxon's business practices a "political witch hunt."

Schneiderman's office, which denied Exxon's allegations of "political motivation," told the court last week it had evidence that Exxon used two sets of figures—one internally, and one externally with investors—to calculate climate risk. In addition to outside scrutiny, Exxon is also facing pressure on climate from its boardroom: asset manager BlackRock, Exxon's third largest investor, urged the oil giant Friday to "enhance its disclosures" on climate, following a shareholder vote earlier this month to require Exxon to include more detailed assessments of how climate policies impact its bottom line.

"The attorney general's office has a substantial basis to suspect that Exxon's proxy cost analysis may have been a sham," said Amy Spitalnick, Schneiderman's press secretary. "This office takes potential misrepresentations to investors very seriously and will vigorously seek to enforce this subpoena."

As reported by Reuters:

Schneiderman sought more materials from the oil producer as part of an ongoing probe that has already reviewed nearly three million documents. He is examining whether Exxon misled the public about its understanding of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the earth's climate.

The probe has already revealed Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, who until December was chief executive of Exxon, used a separate email address and an alias, "Wayne Tracker," to discuss climate change-related issues while at the company."

For a deeper dive:

Filing: New York Times, WSJ, The Hill, Politico Pro, Bloomberg, Reuters. BlackRock: Politico Pro, Reuters

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