A New York state lawsuit against Exxon Mobil for allegedly misleading investors by downplaying the risk climate-change regulations would have on its business is nothing more than a “shakedown,” according to Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano.
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“Who gets the money if the plaintiff wins?” he said on Thursday during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “The government of the state of New York. It’s absolutely a money grab.”
Filed by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the 96-page lawsuit alleges that former CEO Rex Tillerson knew for years that the company was not accounting for the likelihood of “increasingly stringent regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions,” despite telling investors otherwise.
“Investors put their money and their trust in Exxon – which assured them of the long-term value of their shares, as the company claimed to be factoring the risk of increasing climate-change regulation into its business decisions. Yet as our investigation found, Exxon often did no such thing,” Underwood said in a news release.
According to the release, Exxon’s failure to apply its publicly represented costs resulted in the undercounting of projected greenhouse-gas expenses by more than $25 billion in a project in Canada.
But Napolitano said the $200 million lawsuit is the “worst type of litigation” that will likely end with Exxon reaching a settlement with the state of New York.
“It’s a shakedown,” he said, adding, “They won’t litigate. It won’t go to a jury. Exxon will decide how much can we pay to get this beast, the government of the state of New York, off our backs.”