Things have gotten a bit heated in the Exxon-Massachusetts attorney general’s feud as the corporation has filed a lawsuit. This would not be the first time Exxon files a lawsuit against an attorney general. In April of this year, Exxon sued Attorney General Claude Walker due to a presumed fraud investigation on environmental issues discrediting the corporation. This time it is Maura Hauley who is being charged by Exxon.
Hauley is one of the attorney generals in the “AGs United for Clean Power” and who filed an investigation to find out if the oil company was lying about and hiding the climate science information from the public and investors. The company has held that this is a fraud investigation and has hidden purposes.
In fact, Exxon is accusing Hauley of using the investigation for political purposes and is “targeting the speech of [her] political opponents” and “exposing [the company’s] documents that may be politically useful to climate activists,” the lawsuit reads.
According to the company, this investigation violates their free speech as expressed in the First Amendment. Exxon also argues that the process of this investigation also affects the rights granted to them by the Third and Fourth Amendment.
The 33-page document was presented at the federal district in Fort Worth, Texas two weeks ago. The move represents an effort by Exxon, according to some, to block the subpoena that would force them to present 40 years of internal communications to determine if the company was honest about providing information about climate change and not informing the public and investors.
The complaint states that “Attorney General Healey is abusing the power of government to silence a speaker she disfavors.”
Hayley responded to the lawsuit and has stated that the investigation is “based not on speculation, but on inconsistencies about climate change in Exxon documents which have been made public.”