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U.S. top court rejects Exxon in climate change document dispute

Reuters 

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) - The on Monday cleared the way for the of to obtain records from Exxon Corp to probe whether the company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in climate change.

The justices declined to hear Exxon's appeal of a ruling by the top court in holding that state Maura Healey, a Democrat, had jurisdiction to seek records to probe whether the company misled consumers and investors.

The high court's action marked the latest setback for Exxon in its efforts to halt the investigation and a similar one by New York's attorney general, who in October filed a lawsuit against the company.

"The law is clear. The has the authority to investigate Exxon's conduct toward consumers and investors, and we are proceeding. The public deserves answers from this company about what it knew about the impacts of burning fossil fuels, and when," said Chloe Gotsis, a

A for Exxon declined to comment.

New York's lawsuit accused Exxon of engaging in a systematic scheme to deceive investors about the impact that future climate change regulations could have on its business. Exxon has called the claims "meritless."

The Massachusetts and investigations were launched following 2015 reports that Exxon's own scientists had determined that fossil fuel combustion must be reduced to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Those reports, by InsideClimate and the Los Angeles Times, were based on documents from the 1970s and 1980s. Exxon said the documents were not inconsistent with its public positions.

Healey in 2016 issued a civil investigative demand to Exxon seeking documents to investigate whether it had violated the state's through its marketing and sale of

Exxon said that because it is incorporated in and New Jersey, Healey had no basis to seek documents to conduct a Massachusetts-based investigation.

The in April held that jurisdiction existed because of Exxon's control over advertising conducted for about 300 operating under the Exxon and brands in Massachusetts.

Exxon has called the Massachusetts and investigations politically motivated.

(Reporting by and Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by in Houston. Editing by Will Dunham)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 03:41 IST
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