New York Sues Exxon Over Climate-Change Disclosures
The state of New York is suing Exxon Mobil Corp. alleging the company misled shareholders by playing down the possible risks of climate-change regulations to its business.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in the lawsuit filed Wednesday that the company assured investors that it had been accounting for the risks of potential climate-change rules set by governments. But, the complaint said, the company didn’t properly assign those costs in its business activities.
The suit alleges Exxon executives, including former Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, of knowing for years that the company was deviating from what it told the public by using a second set of proxy costs from undisclosed internal guidance that were lower than the ones publicly disclosed.
An Exxon Mobil representative couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, comes after securities regulators earlier this year ended an investigation into whether the oil giant misled investors about its accounting practices and climate change risks.
Shareholders last year pushed Exxon to measure how regulations to reduce greenhouse gases and new energy technologies could impact the value of its oil assets.