Energy

Liberal AG Global Warming Investigations Into Exxon Are Falling Apart

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

ExxonMobil fended off two of the investigations launched by liberal attorneys general into the oil giant’s alleged campaign to mislead the public on global warming.

U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General (AG) Claude Walker has withdrawn the subpoena he sent Exxon as part of his anti-racketeering investigation, and Massachusetts AG Maura Healey’s office has agreed to temporarily suspend enforcing her subpoena.

“After conferring on the matter, the parties mutually agreed that Attorney General Walker will withdraw the subpoena and ExxonMobil will stipulate to the dismissal without prejudice of this action,” reads a legal filing submitted to the court Thursday by Exxon and Walker that was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Walker also withdrew his subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank, in May. Walker demanded CEI turnover records going back 20 years as part of the anti-racketeering probe against Exxon. CEI pushed back and is still pursuing sanctions against Walker for allegedly violating the group’s constitutional rights.

Healey has also hit a snag in her Exxon investigation. Healey has “agreed not to move to enforce the [Civil Investigative Demand] during the pendency of this litigation and the litigation commenced by ExxonMobil on June 15, 2016… other than by filing a cross-motion to compel as described below.”

That’s according to a joint filing from Healey’s office and Exxon submitted to the court last week, which was obtained by TheDCNF.

Healey has agreed to an abeyance of the subpoena, meaning her office won’t enforce the subpoena until all legal appeals are exhausted, which take a couple of years.

Exxon has essentially stopped two of the four attorneys general investigations. But California’s investigation into Exxon has also not made much progress since it was launched in January.

California AG Kamala Harris’s office opened an investigation into Exxon, but the company has yet to receive a subpoena from Harris.

Harris is running for the Senate seat that will be vacated by Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer next year. She recently won the state’s Democratic primary and isn’t expected to do much in terms of investigating Exxon.

Only New York AG Eric Schneiderman has an unhindered subpoena with Exxon.

Schneiderman was the first state prosecutor to launch an investigation into Exxon based on allegations made by left-wing reporters at InsideClimate News and Columbia University the company “knew” of the dangers of global warming, but funded skeptic groups to mislead the public about climate science.

Those reports, however, were backed by wealthy liberal foundations opposed to fossil fuels — some of those reporters didn’t disclose they were funded by left-wing groups when they got their piece published in the Los Angeles Times.

Schneiderman held an event in March where Walker and Healey announced they would be going after Exxon. For the event, Schneiderman brought in prominent environmental activists to discuss global warming and litigation strategies against oil companies.

Eco-activists gave these presentations behind closed doors the same day Schneiderman was joined by more than a dozen other attorneys general and former Vice President Al Gore in condemning Exxon for “fraud” and “deceiving the American people.”

Schneiderman’s office then tried to cover up activist involvement by telling the environmentalists not to disclose to the media they attended the March event.

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