Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday called on ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to answer questions about whether his company hid what it knew about climate change now that he has been announced as Donald Trump’s choice to lead the State Department.
“Now that he’s been nominated by the President-elect, he should absolutely answer the questions that we’ve been asking for months now,” Healey told the Boston Globe. “And this is the opportunity to come clean and produce information from the documents.”
Healey and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have both launched investigations into Exxon, looking into whether the company misled investors about what it knew about climate change and its potential impact on the company. Exxon has denied wrongdoing and has filed a countersuit against both Healey and Schneiderman. In the complaint, Exxon argued that the attorneys general are working together “to conduct improper and politically motivated investigations of ExxonMobil in a coordinated effort to silence and intimidate one side of the public policy debate on how to address climate change.”
Healey told the Boston Globe that Exxon’s lawsuit against her “is really corporate bullying at its best” and said that the company “has some really serious questions to answer.”
“The First Amendment doesn’t protect the right to lie and doesn’t protect companies from lying,” she said.
She indicated that she was concerned about Tillerson’s leadership style.
“I’m just concerned that Exxon is a company that seems to think it doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else. Mr. Tillerson has spent his entire career at Exxon, and my experience in [seeking responses] to inquiries from our office has been distressing. I think it reflects on the company, and it reflects certainly on its leadership,” Healey told the Boston Globe.