This gives Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy the right to proceed with her investigation and request records from Exxon on their prior knowledge of the damaging relationship between fossil fuel consumption and climate change. The case was brought in 2015 when reports stated that Exxon’s scientists were aware that changes needed to be made to fossil fuel practices in order to slow down the impacts of climate change.
Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, had also joined the suit. The company tried to block the records probe claiming that because it is a Texas based company, Massachusetts and New York had no jurisdiction to request records for investigations done in their respective states. In the district court’s decision in April, the judge held that “Exxon was subject to personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts by virtue of its control over franchises operating Exxon-branded gas stations in the Commonwealth.”
The Supreme Court’s decision not to take on Exxon’s case gives the Attorneys General the green light to proceed with their probe and investigation to hold Exxon accountable for its contribution to climate change.