Exxon swings back at ‘politically motivated’ probe

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

After a roster of leaders from different states peppered Exxon Mobil Corp. today with allegations of climate change fraud, the company shot back, saying politics were fueling those claims.

“The allegations leveled against Exxon Mobil again today are politically motivated and based on discredited reporting funded by activist organizations,” said Suzanne McCarron, Exxon Mobil’s vice president of public and government affairs. “We are actively assessing all legal options.”

Exxon Mobil has been the target of a probe by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D). At an event he hosted in New York City today featuring former Vice President Al Gore and several other states’ attorneys general, officials accused fossil fuel companies of lying to the public and their shareholders about climate science and announced broad multistate collaborations (Greenwire, March 29).

“The allegations are based on the false premise that Exxon Mobil reached definitive conclusions about anthropogenic climate change before the world’s experts and before the science itself had matured, and then withheld it from the broader scientific community. Such a claim is preposterous,” McCarron said.

Contrary to the claims of Exxon Mobil’s critics, she added, the company’s deliberations decades ago “yielded no definitive conclusions” and scientists determined that more research was required.

“Exxon Mobil recognizes the risks posed by climate change, and we believe that everyone should be engaged in meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” McCarron said.

Other industry groups also blasted the state officials’ news conference today.

“These Attorneys General are off on a quixotic journey to solve a problem that barely cracks the list of priorities for the average American, when instead they should be protecting their constituents by working to defeat EPA’s costly Power Plan,” the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity said in a statement.