October 28, 2016 Read More →

Judge Orders Exxon to Comply With Subpoena on Climate-Change Research

Devin Henry for The Hill:

A state judge in New York on Wednesday ordered ExxonMobil Corp. and an auditing firm to comply with a state investigation into the company’s climate science.

An order from New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager directed Exxon’s accounting firm to turn over documents related to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into the company.

The judge dismissed Exxon’s contention that a Texas law provides accountant-client privilege and that neither Exxon nor its firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), needs to comply with the subpoena. The judge noted further that New York law does not recognize such privilege.

The New York Supreme Court is a trial court and not the state’s highest court. An Exxon spokesman said the company “respectfully disagrees with the court’s ruling and intends to take an immediate appeal.”

Schneiderman issued a subpoena to PWC in August, seeking documents related to potential violations of the law relating to the disclosure of the company’s climate change research. He filed a motion earlier this month to compel PWC to turn over the documents he requested.

“We are pleased with the court’s order and look forward to moving full-steam ahead with our fraud investigation of Exxon,” Schneiderman said in a  statement.

“Exxon had no legal basis to interfere with PWC’s production, and I hope that today’s order serves as a wake-up call to Exxon that the best thing they can do is cooperate with, rather than resist, our investigation.”

Judge orders Exxon to comply with climate subpoena

 

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