On Thursday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into ExxonMobil to determine if there is evidence that the corporation lied to the public or investors about the risks of climate change. The investigation was spurred by an exposé by InsideClimate News that revealed that the corporation had intimate knowledge of climate change and its role in driving it for decades but chose to bury the truth.
The inquiry comes on the heels of calls from members of Congress, presidential candidates, former vice president and environmentalist Al Gore, and a coalition of environmental groups for the federal government to launch an investigation. If it’s anything like what happened to the tobacco industry, it is possible that more states will join New York in the investigation and more fossil fuel corporations could be pulled in. If that happens, Big Oil could find itself exactly where Big Tobacco’s lies and deception landed it almost two decades ago — at the losing end of dozens of state and federal lawsuits.
In the late 1990s, after numerous calls for federal inquiry, a series of lawsuits against the United States’ largest tobacco corporations force... Read more