(Corrects paragraph 5 to say Healey "is conducting a separate
probe" instead of "is participating in the probe" ... Corrects
paragraph 7 to say "his filing" instead of "their filing"...)
By Emily Flitter
NEW YORK May 23 A New York state appeals court
on Tuesday ruled that Exxon Mobil Corp should be compelled to
turn over records in an investigation into how much the company
knew about global warming as it continued to publicly downplay
the effects it was expected to have on the fossil fuel industry.
Exxon has been battling subpoenas from New York
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is probing the company
for fraud in its public statements about climate change. The
appeals court upheld a lower court's decision, rejecting Exxon's
argument that the court did not properly consider which state's
laws on turning over evidence in an investigation should apply
in the case. The investigation is taking place in New York, but
Exxon's headquarters are in Texas.
"We respect, but disagree with the court's decision and are
assessing our options and potential next steps," said Scott
Silvestri, an Exxon spokesman.
"The unanimous appeals court rightly affirmed the lower
court's decision and rejected Exxon's frivolous claims, which
were merely one of the many tactics the company has employed in
its campaign of delay and distraction," said Schneiderman's
spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick.
Exxon is also fighting the investigation in Manhattan
federal court, arguing Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney
General Maura Healey, who is conducting a separate probe, are
motivated by politics. On Friday, Schneiderman asked a judge to
dismiss Exxon's case.
The investigation has already led to one public revelation:
that Secretary 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.
In his filing in federal court on Friday, Schneiderman
revealed his office had interviewed witnesses who could help
them learn more about the kind of records Exxon might have
showing internal discussions about climate change. He described
the move as an attempt to keep Exxon from destroying relevant
records before they were required to be turned over in the
The cases are People of the State of New York v
PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Mobil Corporation, New York
State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 451962/2016, and
1:17-cv-2301 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New
(Reporting by Emily Flitter; editing by David Gregorio)