Judge advances Exxon climate lawsuit against shareholders

Source: By Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2024

A federal judge in Texas said investor groups failed to show they won’t simply “add an Oxford comma” and resubmit proposals to push the oil company to slash planet-warming emissions.

 The logo for Exxon Mobil appears at the New York Stock Exchange.

The logo for Exxon Mobil appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. Richard Drew/AP

A federal judge has refused to drop an activist investor group from an Exxon Mobil lawsuit that has sparked an uprising against the energy giant.

Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Wednesday denied a request from shareholder group Arjuna Capital to dismiss Exxon’s lawsuit. Pittman also found that he did not have jurisdiction over Follow This, another shareholder group involved in the case.

Exxon took the unusual step in January of suing to block the two shareholder groups from proposing a nonbinding resolution urging the oil company to move faster to cut planet-warming emissions.

The groups yanked the resolution and pledged not to submit it again, but Pittman, a Trump appointee, said that to dismiss Exxon’s claim, it must be “absolutely clear” that investors would not repeat their conduct.