Exxon Blasts NY Prosecutor's Climate Probe as 'Reckless'
Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday asked a New York court to reject the latest subpoena request from the state's top prosecutor and called his climate change probe "reckless."
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has requested more materials from the oil producer as part of an ongoing probe that has already reviewed nearly 3 million documents.
The attorney general, who also wants to interview Exxon employees, has said Exxon withheld information about its internal climate change discussions and misled the public about what it knew.
In a court filing on Friday, Exxon blasted what it called "reckless and false allegations" from Schneiderman and said it has not withheld information.
"For a prosecutor proceeding in good faith, the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing is grounds for closing an investigation, not expanding it," Exxon wrote in its filing with the court.
The Texas-based company accused Schneiderman of abusing the power of his office and using the probe to advance his political ambitions.
"Lacking any basis in the facts or in proportionality, these subpoenas cannot be allowed to stand," Exxon said in a request to the court.
Schneiderman's office denied the allegations.
"As detailed in our filing last week, the Attorney General's office has a substantial basis to suspect that Exxon's proxy cost analysis may have been a sham," said Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for the New York attorney general. "This office takes potential misrepresentations to investors very seriously and will vigorously seek to enforce this subpoena. We look forward to next week's hearing."
Exxon has been fighting Schneiderman's requests for information about its climate change policies in both state and federal court, claiming it should not have to turn over records because the New York prosecutor's probe is politically motivated and abusive to the company.
The case is People of the State of New York v PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 451962/2016.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)