On April 28, 2022, the California Attorney General launched an investigation into the “fossil fuel and petrochemical industries for their role in causing and exacerbating the global plastics pollution crisis.” As a first step, the CA AG issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil, “a major source of global plastic pollution, seeking information relating to the company’s role in deceiving the public.” The stated purpose of the investigation is to “target companies that have caused and exacerbated the global plastics pollution crisis,… More
Category Archives: Climate Response
Massachusetts and Other States Challenge Trump’s Move to Bar State Vehicle Emissions Regulations
Led by California, 23 states, including Massachusetts, have sued the Trump administration challenging new federal regulations that strip the states’ authority to set their own vehicle emissions standards. On December 3, 2019, the administration moved to dismiss on procedural grounds, arguing that the D.C. District Court was the wrong venue, and that the case should have been brought before the D.C. Circuit for its direct review.… More
ExxonMobil’s AG Claims Are Dismissed — What a Shock!
Yesterday, Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed claims brought by ExxonMobil against New York Attorney General Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Healey. Boiled down to their essence, ExxonMobil’s claims were that investigations by Schneiderman and Healey into the possibility that ExxonMobil had committed fraud by misleading investors regarding the risks that climate change poses to ExxonMobil’s business were politically motivated and in bad faith.
The decision was not difficult. … More
Attorneys General Continue to Battle the Trump Administration Over Environmental Regulations
Democratic Attorneys General have continued their efforts to combat the Trump administration’s attempts to roll back environmental regulations developed under the Obama administration in two recent actions. Thirteen AGs, including Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, sent a letter last week to Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, threatening legal action if the agency takes steps to weaken or delay the greenhouse gas emissions standards that were established in 2012 for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025.… More
Texas and Alabama AGs Join the Exxon Fray
As we reported in April, the Attorney Generals of New York, California, Massachusetts, and the Virgin Islands have joined in a multistate investigation into Exxon’s knowledge of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change as far back as 1977. Part of that investigation includes a subpoena from the Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, seeking roughly forty years of records from Exxon related to alleged violations of Virgin Islands law. … More
Massachusetts, Virgin Islands Join Exxon Investigation
What began with an investigation by NY AG Eric Schneiderman, later joined by California AG Kamala Harris, has become a multistate AG investigation into Exxon’s knowledge of the contributions of fossil fuels to climate change going back as far as 1977. On March 29, 2016, AGs from Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands announced that they were joining with the NY and CA AGs. … More
Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate Change
Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on each coast of the United States.
Several sources are reporting that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office is examining what Exxon knew about the science of climate change compared with what the company told investors. … More
State AGs on Front Lines in Battle over Clean Power Plan
In dismissing as premature a lawsuit brought on July 1, 2015 by Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt against the then-unpromulgated Clean Power Plan, N. D. Oklahoma Judge Claire V. Eagan noted “there is no reason to believe that plaintiffs will have to wait for long before renewing proceedings in the D.C. Circuit if they intend to challenge the final rule.” Judge Eagan was right;… More
Massachusetts Attorney General to Undertake Natural Gas Study
Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced that her office will lead a study to identify and evaluate options to address regional electric reliability needs in New England through 2030. As the Massachusetts ratepayer advocate, the AG’s Office has traditionally challenged the efforts of Massachusetts utilities to raise electric and gas rates before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The announcement that her office will conduct a study that focuses on regional energy needs once again signals her interest to consider the effects of climate change as part of her role as ratepayer advocate and that her office intends to play a significant role in the region’s energy policy debates.… More
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Describes the Role of the Ratepayer Advocate
In her first speech regarding energy policy since her election, Attorney General Healey laid out some of her energy priorities before the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association’s annual conference on March 12.
The Massachusetts Attorney General serves as the Commonwealth’s ratepayer advocate, which has traditionally solely focused on the cost of electricity and natural gas for Massachusetts consumers. In the speech, Healey noted that she expected to be a “21st century ratepayer advocate” who recognizes that “the cost of climate response” needs to part of the discussion of energy prices.… More