Secretary of State John Kerry said Exxon Mobil Corp. could be hit with a record lawsuit if it’s proven that the company misled investors and the public on the science of climate change. Kerry said he personally would be “outraged, furious” if a deliberate deception is revealed. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that covered topics ranging from foreign policy to climate change, Kerry said Exxon Mobil class-action litigation could total into the billions of dollars. He said the primary importance in an investigation into the oil giant’s actions is to uncover the truth.
Kerry’s statements follow on the heels of recent reports by InsideClimate News and a team of Columbia University journalists in the Los Angeles Times that accused the oil giant of quietly studying the negative impacts of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere while publicly questioning the science of climate change. We covered those allegations in the November issue of The Report.
As one might expect, Exxon has denied the claims and, in a letter sent to Columbia officials earlier this month, accused the journalists of engaging in unethical practices and ignoring evidence from the company. The reports have led environmental groups and the three major Democratic presidential candidates to push the Department of Justice to investigate. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also launched a probe. There can be no question but that Exxon Mobil and other huge oil companies have done a masterful job of misleading the public and the federal government about the damages of climate change.
Sources: TheHill.com and Rolling Stone
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