Exxon Mobil Hit by Further Climate Change Investigation

State attorney generals have worked together for further investigations regarding the climate change issue involving Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM). However, this time, this further investigation comes from US Virgin Islands and Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, 19 state attorneys, including those from Maryland, Vermont, and Connecticut, and the attorney general of US Virgin Islands announced that they are working together to investigate on the corporations which have misled people regarding the risks of climate change. The attorneys stated that they would be joining the investigations started in New York and California.

At the conference, US Virgin Islands attorney general Claude Walker stated that, “We have launched an investigation into a company that we believe must provide information to us about what they knew about climate change and when they knew it.”

The attorney general stated that transparency when it comes to the operations of firms dealing with fossil fuels must be ensured. The reason behind this is that consumers must be fully aware of the products that they are buying and the impact of these on the environment. People are gradually being informed regarding the possible risks related to climate change, resulting to a shift in eco-friendly products.

While talking about the climate change issue at the conference, Ms. Healey said, “Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors must be held accountable.” A number of attorneys, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman extended his support to Ms. Healey and Mr. Walker regarding this matter.

According to the ex-Vice President of the United States Al Gore, the attorneys general’s announcement can be considered a turning point in a greater effort  to hold fossil fuel companies responsible.

Before, it has been witnessed that the US oil and gas firm has displayed reluctance in terms of climate change risks. It has denied allegations repeatedly that it went against the law in its past climate work. Moreover, the company even failed to designate a climate change specialist on its Board. Mr. Schneiderman had subpoenaed the corporation for certain documents regarding this issue.

With this, the conference held by the attorneys general on Tuesday cheered up a lot of environmentalists. Aside from this, other climate change activists who have been calling for action to be taken against Exxon Mobil Corporation lauded the decision of Ms. Healey.

The energy company asserts that it has provided sufficient disclosures regarding carbon emissions. The Vice President for public and government affair Ms. Suzanne McCarron is under the belief that the expansion of investigations by the attorneys general is “politically motivated.” She further added that, “We are actively assessing all legal options.”

The spokesman of Exxon Mobil Mr. Alan Jeffers said that environmentalists and the media have utilized public information from the archives of the company on purpose in order to damage the image of the energy giant’s long history of climate research.

As of 11:01 AM GMT -4 on March 30, the stock of Exxon Mobil Corporation is changing hands at $84.81, up by 0.33 percent or 0.29. The company’s market capitalization currently posts at 353.45 billion. On the other hand, its P/E ratio stands at 22.04, while its dividend yield comes in at 3.44 percent.