friday, 13 january of 2017

Massachusetts court orders Exxon Mobil to turn over climate change documents

he Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts ordered on Wednesday Exxon Mobil to turn over 40 years' worth of documents on climate change.

This ruling stems from a Civil Investigative Demand issued by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy.

Judge Heidi Brieger denied Exxon an emergency motion for a protective order that would have at least temporarily blocked Healey's inquiry into Exxon's knowledge and internal research on climate change.

Exxon Mobil has also filed a complaint for preliminary injunction in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth to bar enforcement of the CID and requested a declaration that this case violates its federal constitutional rights.

Brieger stated in her opinion that "[t]his matter involves the Massachusetts consumer protection statute and Massachusetts case law arising under it, about which the Massachusetts Superior Court is certainly more familiar than would be a federal court in Texas."

Climate change and its connection to fossil fuel companies has been prevalent in legal news in recent months.

In December Murray Energy Corporation, the largest privately owned coal company in the US, filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block new regulations promulgated by the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement.

The same month President Barack Obama announced a ban on offshore drilling in almost 120 million acres of federally owned Arctic and Atlantic waters.

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled in November that a lawsuit against the US federal government over failure to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses could proceed.

(Published by Jurist - January 12, 2017)

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