SEC Drops Investigation of Exxon Mobil’s “Climate Change Disclosures”

In a move, most likely, resulting from lawsuits brought by the city of New York and California cities against fossil fuel companies being dismissed and a new White House Administration, The New York Times reports the Securities and Exchange Commission has withdrawn a probe into Exxon Mobil’s accounting procedures and the risks climate change regulations pose to the company’s business practices.

The investigation was initiated during the Obama Administration two years ago and Exxon Mobil turned over almost 4 million pages of documents to the agency at the SEC’s request during August of that year. Conveniently, a cache of those same documents end up in the offices of the Center for International Environmental Law. The group, in turn, created a website using what looks like selectively chosen documents they probably obtained through friends at the SEC. At the website, environmentalists try to make the case that #ExxonKnew that their fossil fuel products contributed to rising CO2 in the atmosphere 60 years ago and that the company was organizing to block air pollution rules.

However, investigations on the part of the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts continue. During June of last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that then New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Exxon Mobil of issuing misleading information to investors on how climate change impacts the company’s operations. Schneiderman alleged Exxon utilized internal information while claiming different information was used in public. Exxon denies the accusations made by environmentalists and New York State’s, now former, chief prosecutor.

Exxon Mobil not only complied fully with the SEC’s investigation but may have aided its accusers. The documents now in the hands of environmentalists could be used against the fossil fuel company down the line in future litigation or fundraising efforts. Thankfully, Exxon not only has been denying charges made against them but pushing back against lawsuits and other campaigns initiated by green groups use as a means to attack them.

Exxon is right that fossil fuels are necessary to meet the energy needs of the world’s population for years to come. Environmentalists oppose this because they oppose civilization and progress, including for people in developing countries that want better lives and standards of living.