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Court Dismisses Exxon’s Effort to Block Climate Investigation

A federal judge has dismissed a case brought by Exxon Mobil against the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts that might have blocked investigations into Exxon’s research and public statements about climate change.

The state attorneys general were investigating whether the company had fraudulently misled investors and the public about climate change and about what effects climate change might have on its business.

Judge Valerie E. Caproni of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that by suing the state officials, the oil company was “running roughshod over the adage that the best defense is a good offense.” Exxon’s effort to blunt “duly authorized investigations” through the courts was “extraordinary,” she wrote, and was based on “extremely thin allegations and speculative inferences.”

The investigation, initiated by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York, first came to light in November 2015. Over time, Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts and others announced their own involvement.

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