A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas in this file photo from 15 September 2008. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi / REUTERS

By Timothy Cama
7 January 2019

(The Hill) – The Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a case in which Exxon Mobil Corp. is trying to stop Massachusetts’s demand for documents from it in a climate change investigation.

The announcement in the case, Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Healey, came without explanation, as is the court’s usual practice. Four of the high court’s nine judges would have had to vote in favor of taking the case for it to be put in the docket.

Exxon Mobil, the nation’s largest oil company by production volume, wanted the court to stop Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) from compelling it to produce decades of records about how it has dealt with the threat of climate change to the world and to its businesses.

The Supreme Court’s rejection appears to be the last step Exxon Mobil could take to stop the investigation, and the company now must likely comply with the civil investigative demand, a document akin to a subpoena.

Healey is probing whether the company lied to the public or investors about how much it knew about the threat of climate change, the role of its fossil fuel products and how climate policies would hurt its businesses.

The probe, launched in 2016, is part of a larger move by Democrats and environmentalists to hold Exxon Mobil accountable for allegedly sowing doubt about climate science while internally knowing the true extent of the problem. Exxon Mobil has denied the allegations.

Massachusetts’s top court ruled for Healey in April 2018, after which Exxon Mobil asked the Supreme Court to step in. [more]

Supreme Court rejects Exxon Mobil appeal in climate case

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