Exxon Vs The State Of New York

Exxon Vs The State Of New York

The state of New York sued Texas-based Exxon in 2018 after a three-year probe. The claim found some evidence that the company allegedly tricked investor into thinking the company was planning properly for a low-carbon future and inflating its stock by as much as $1.6 billion starting in 2014.

Per Wells the state failed to prove Exxon made a material misstatement when it revealed to activist investors in 2014 that it was using a “proxy cost” to account for the future impact of climate change on the business. The State of New York failed to prove the claims led to a drop-in company’s stock, he said.

There was “no impact on the price of the company’s stock,” Wells said. “What that shows are that nothing happened and that nobody cared. And the reason nobody cared is because nothing happened.”

Justice Barry Ostrager, of the New York State court in Manhattan, will decide the case without a jury.

Among more than a dozen witnesses who testified were activist investors who accused Exxon of misleading them, Exxon employees who defended the company’s practices, and expert witnesses who dueled over whether the allegations had any impact on the company’s shares.

The case hinges on whether Exxon’s proxy cost — meant to account for the expected decrease in demand for fossil fuels — was supposed to be the same as another internal metric Exxon used, a greenhouse gas (GHG) cost applied to specific project proposals based on existing local taxes. Exxon says the state is trying to show a false discrepancy by conflating two carbon metrics that serve different purposes.

A lawyer for New York Attorney General Letitia James will give the state’s closing statement later Thursday.