Massachusetts court rules in favor of attorney general in Exxon climate change case

ExxonMobil Corp. lost its bid to block Massachusetts’ attorney general from obtaining records to look into whether the company concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play with climate change.

In its decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Friday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that state Attorney General Maura Healey (D) has authority to investigate Exxon. The court ordered the oil company to hand over documents to the attorney general’s office as part of her investigation into the company’s history of climate deception.

In January 2017, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled Exxon must comply with Healey’s investigation and turn over 40 years of documents on climate change. Exxon appealed. The state Supreme Judicial Court’s decision on Friday upheld the lower court judge’s order.

“Exxon’s scorched earth campaign to block our investigation has been entirely rejected by the courts,” Healey said Friday in a statement. “Now Exxon must come forward with the truth, what it knew about climate change, when, and what it told the world.”

Healey and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) are both looking into whether Exxon misled shareholders about the risks that climate change posed to the company’s business.

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