by H. Sterling Burnett
The Heartland Institute
A New York state judge has ordered Exxon and the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to turn over documents demanded by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D-NY) in his ongoing investigation of Exxon’s statements on climate change.
The judge rejected Exxon’s claim Texas law protects accountant-client privilege, saying New York law does not recognize such privilege.
Schneiderman claims he subpoenaed documents from PWC in order to determine whether Exxon made fraudulent claims to the public and investors concerning climate research it carried out or funded and how possible future legislation limiting fossil fuel use could affect its operations and profits. The letter Schneiderman and Vermont AG William Sorrell (D) used to recruit other attorneys general to join their investigation of Exxon and other climate realists, obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, paints a different picture.
As the letter reveals, Schneiderman and Sorrell were less interested in bringing law breakers to justice or protecting investors than they were in using the courts to circumvent the democratic process and bring about partisan political ends.