NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge dismissed on Thursday the lawsuit filed by Exxon Mobil Corp. ( XOM.N ), which wanted to prevent New York and Massachusetts from investigating whether the oil and gas industry was recovering Gas company has covered up its knowledge of climate change and lied to investors and the public about it.
Manhattan District Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed Exxon's argument as "implausible" that the state's Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Maura Healey, politically motivated, were pursuing malicious fraud investigations to violate their constitutional rights.
Caproni dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning that the company, based in Irving, Texas, can not bring it back.
Exxon is considering its legal options, spokesman Scott Silvestri said in an email.
"We believe that the risk of climate change is real and we want to be part of the solution," he added. "We've invested around $ 8 billion in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies like carbon capture and next-generation biofuels."
The case is one of several, including complaints from shareholders and employees, that focus on whether Exxon has lied about climate change for decades, including its impact on energy prices and the environment and its ability to develop reserves, and occupied public positions that did not match what he knew.
Schneiderman, in a statement, welcomed the end of what he called Exxon's "frivolous, nonsensical lawsuit that wrongly attempted to prevent a serious investigation into state prosecution."
Healey called Caproni's decision "a turning point in our investigation and a victory for the people."
Exxon sued in June 2016, after receiving summons, documents about his historical understanding of climate change and communication with stakeholders and shareholders were looking for.
The company accused Schneiderman and Healey of conspiring to "silence and intimidate one side of the public political debate", violate their right to freedom of expression and due process, as well as inappropriate searches. Much of the Exxon case was at a press conference in March 2016 with US Attorney General and former United States Vice President Al Gore demanding an offer to adopt measures that favored them and climate change activists.
However, Caproni said, "Nothing that has been said can be read as an explanation of a political vendetta against Exxon."
She said that Schneiderman and Healey, apparently from Exxon, had shared climate change, in fact, does not mean that they had no reason to believe that Exxon could fraudulently "see" confusion to support its bottom line.
Nowhere, she said, did Exxon suggest that the lawyers believed that the company itself was confused about the causes or risks of climate change.
The case is Exxon Mobil Corp et al. Schneiderman et al., US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-02301.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Arrangement by Grant McCool and Leslie Adler