Finally ending a four-year saga, the verdict came in December against the New York Attorney General: ExxonMobil did not deceive or mislead investors over climate change impacts. No kidding. Advocates of the case against the oil giant built may have held it up as the bellwether for others, but we know that the NYAG’s case was an abuse of the legal system and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
New York’s failed shakedown of ExxonMobil brings to mind other similar cases that have fallen just as flat. For example, a case in San Francisco against “Big Oil” was dismissed in June 2018, with the federal judge specifically citing the city’s hypocrisy. As it turns out, the City by the Bay is itself, exactly what you thought: a huge oil and gas user. In any event, oil- and gas-based Massachusetts is moving forward with its own climate case against ExxonMobil, now trying to take it to the state court.