DALLAS – A federal judge has opened the way for Exxon Mobil Corp. to seek documents and question witnesses who may help the Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey investigate whether the company hid what it knew about climate change.
U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas said Thursday that critical comments Healey made at a news conference raised the possibility that she acted in “bad faith” by issuing a subpoena against the company.
Healey and New York’s attorney general have accused Exxon of committing securities fraud by misleading investors and the public about what the company knew about the link between burning fossil fuels and climate change.
In April, Healey issued a subpoena for Exxon to produce documents that could go back to the 1970s. Irving, Texas-based Exxon went to federal court in nearby Dallas to block the subpoena.
The investigations “are part of an orchestrated campaign against our company that is without legal merit,” Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said Thursday.
Healey spokeswoman Jillian Fennimore said the attorney general’s office has “clear legal authority” to investigate and that Exxon “is accountable for any misrepresentations it may have made.”
The judge has yet to rule on Exxon’s effort to quash Healey’s subpoena or Healey’s motion to throw out Exxon’s challenge. She argued that the federal court in Texas doesn’t have jurisdiction over an investigation by Massachusetts.