The Corner

Massachusetts Attorney General Ordered to Testify in ExxonMobil Probe

On Friday, Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey received a major blow to her ongoing legal crusade against ExxonMobil from U.S. district judge Ed Kinkeade, when Kinkeade expressed grave concern that the lawsuit is politically motivated.

Healey and other members of “Green 20” (an attorney-general-led coalition that seeks to limit climate change) subpoenaed ExxonMobil for 40 years’ worth of internal documents related to climate change. By Healey’s account, the climate-change documents will prove that ExxonMobil “knew about the risks of climate change decades ago and fraudulently concealed that knowledge from the public.” But Kinkeade seems unconvinced. Healey, he ruled, must testify in his Dallas court room, more than 1,750 miles away from Boston. This order comes just one week after Kinkeade authored an opinion outlining allegations of bad faith on the part of Healey and Green 20.

In addition, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman — the leader of Green 20, who also subpoenaed ExxonMobil in his state — was notified of the possibility of a court order demanding that he, too, testify in Dallas. Allegations against Schneiderman have swirled since it was revealed that he had inappropriately contacted billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer four months before he filed his lawsuit.

Healey (and potentially Schneiderman) will testify in Dallas on December 13.

Austin YackAustin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.

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