Court Orders Exxon to Release Accounting Documents for Climate Probe

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 13, 2017
'Oil derrick east of Freer, TX IMG 0969' by Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was victorious in a court battle ordering Exxon to release documentation regarding the accounting and reporting of oil and gas reserves, the evaluation of assets for potential impairment charges or write-downs, as well as energy-price projections and projected carbon-cost estimates, according to Bloomberg. While the petroleum company cited accountant-client privilege as to why they should not have to do so, New York's top court didn't think this was a sufficient reason to keep these documents away from the attorney general.

Schneiderman has been investigating Exxon, as well as its auditor PwC, on the suspicion that the company has been essentially keeping two sets of books, one private and one public, to calculate the impact of global warming on its reserves. He believes that it has misled investors as to how climate change will impact the company. Exxon, on the other hand, has claimed that the investigations (the Massachusetts Attorney General is doing a similar investigation) are politically motivated, with the two Democratic attorneys general having already come to the conclusion they want to see. 

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