Exxon Mobil Corp. has been the target of numerous government agencies and conservation groups due to various climate change issues. Now, the company responds to investigations that aim to bring it down by taking matters to court.
On Wednesday, April 13, Exxon filed court papers in Texas to cancel out the subpoena issued against the company in March. The documents argue that the subpoena is an unjustified move that seeks to phish information into the company's internal records — a violation of its constitutional rights.
"The chilling effect of this inquiry, which discriminates based on viewpoint to target one side of an ongoing policy debate, strikes at protected speech at the core of the First Amendment," the court paper reads.
The subpoena, filed by U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Earl Walker, says Exxon could be defying two state rules by allegedly collecting money deceitfully and conniving to do so.
For Exxon, the said subpoena was released without law-mandated justifiable conjecture. To add to that, the company believes that the court paper was derived from a hidden motive to keep down those who give out opinions on climate change, with which they contradict.
Legal Strategy To Halt Exxon
In a closed-door meeting in January, environmentalists gathered and established new goals including instilling into the public's mind that Exxon is a corrupt firm that has led humans to climate disaster and serious hazards.
The people in that meeting hope to push the judicial sector to start investigations and file lawsuits that will turn things around for Exxon once and for all. The main end result is to modify Exxon's behavior, make it pay large damages and encourage the public to pay attention to climate change.
Lee Wasserman from Rockefeller Family Fund says it is not just about Exxon. The meeting is about raising public awareness about the urgencies of looking for climate change solutions.
The meeting appears to bear fruit as the California Public Employees' Retirement System has joined the bandwagon in calling on Exxon and other companies to reveal the financial risks of climate change and its policies.
The proposals requested the companies to include evaluations and disclosures of possible financial letdowns or recent international deals to maintain the rise of climate temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has also recently ordered Exxon to include climate change resolution to uphold shareholder vote.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also started an initial review.
The lawyers of Exxon said in the Wednesday filing that the firm has affirmed for more than 10 years that it does observe the risks of climate change. In fact, it has advocated the implementation of carbon tax to regulate emissions.
About four attorney generals have prompted investigations against Exxon. The court papers filed on Wednesday is just the first of what looks like a long and gruesome battle.