Massachusetts Goes All in on Failing ‘Exxon Knew’ Campaign, Sues Exxon

On the third day of the New York attorney general’s trial against ExxonMobil, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey jumped on the bandwagon and filed a lawsuit against the company. Healey’s timing is no accident. The announcement seeks to capitalize on media attention from the New York lawsuit and caps off a week in which “Exxon Knew” activists and their allied politicians threw everything they had at the company.

Three years after announcing her investigation into the company, Healey has received no documents from the company, and taken no depositions. Healey’s investigation – like that of the New York attorney general – stems from a highly coordinated activist campaign to pressure attorneys general into pursuing litigation against energy companies. Immediately following a secretive presentation by Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists and plaintiffs’ attorney Matthew Pawa, Healey announced her intention to sue the company, flanked by then-New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and Al Gore. As ExxonMobil described in a motion filed on October 10th:

“Attorney General Healey asserted that those who purportedly ‘deceived’ the public—by disagreeing with her about climate change policy—‘should be, must be, held accountable.’ In the next breath, Attorney General Healey declared that she too had ‘joined in investigating the practices of ExxonMobil.’ She then promised ‘quick, aggressive action’ to ‘hold accountable those who have needed to be held accountable for far too long.’”



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