Exxon sued for mis­lead­ing in­vestors on cli­mate change

Global Times US Edition - - BIZMARKETS -

New York’s at­tor­ney gen­eral sued Exxon Mo­bil Corp on Wed­nes­day, al­leg­ing that the world’s largest oil com­pany for years mis­led in­vestors about the risks of cli­mate change reg­u­la­tions on its busi­ness.

The suit, filed in New York’s Supreme Court, New York County, seeks undis­closed dam­ages, a court or­der for a re­view of the com­pany’s rep­re­sen­ta­tions, and that the com­pany cor­rects “numer­ous mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions” to in­vestors.

It al­leges Exxon as­sured in­vestors it had prop­erly eval­u­ated the im­pact of cli­mate reg­u­la­tions on its busi­ness us­ing a “proxy cost” for the likely ef­fects of fu­ture events on its busi­ness. How­ever, these proxy fig­ures fre­quently were not used in its in­ter­nal plan­ning or cost as­sump­tions, the suit claims.

The com­pany also failed to prop­erly ac­count for such costs in de­ter­min­ing its vol­ume of oil and gas re­serves, or whether to write down the value of its as­sets, a met­ric im­por­tant to in­vestors, the suit claims.

“The com­pany claimed to be fac­tor­ing the risk of in­creas­ing cli­mate change reg­u­la­tion into its busi­ness de­ci­sions,” At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bar­bara Un­der­wood said in a state­ment. “Yet as our in­ves­ti­ga­tion found, Exxon of­ten did no such thing.”

Exxon “looks for­ward to re­fut­ing these claims as soon as pos­si­ble and get­ting this mer­it­less civil law­suit dis­missed,” said spokesman Scott Sil­vestri in a state­ment.

Exxon and other oil com­pa­nies in­clud­ing BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell face law­suits by cities across the US seek­ing funds to pay for sea­walls to guard against ris­ing sea lev­els brought on by cli­mate change.

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