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Exxon Seeking Dismissal of Massachusetts AG’s Climate Lawsuit

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 8/4/2020 Erik Larson
a close up of a street sign hanging from a pole: NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A sign for an Exxon gas station stands in a Brooklyn neighborhood on October 28, 2016 in New York City. As lower gas prices continue to do damage to oil companies, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer reported a 38% decline in quarterly profit. Exxon shares were down 1% to $86.04 late Friday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) © Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A sign for an Exxon gas station stands in a Brooklyn neighborhood on October 28, 2016 in New York City. As lower gas prices continue to do damage to oil companies, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer reported a 38% decline in quarterly profit. Exxon shares were down 1% to $86.04 late Friday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. will argue that a consumer and investor fraud lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts attorney general amounts to improper retaliation against the company over its views on climate change.

The company will seek to dismiss the suit under the state’s so-called anti-Slapp law, which prohibits the use of litigation that has the effect of punishing a defendant for statements on matters that are under consideration by a legislative or judicial body, according to a July 30 notice in state court in Boston. The court won’t make details of Exxon’s motion public until after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey responds.

The suit, filed in October, alleges Exxon hid its early knowledge of climate change and misled investors about the projected financial impact of global warming on its business. Exxon has long argued that such actions illegally target free speech by punishing the company for views about the future of fossil fuels that differ form those of environmentalists.

“Exxon has made repeated attempts to stonewall my office’s efforts to seek the truth about Exxon’s climate deception,” Healey said in an emailed statement. “This meritless motion is no different.”

Read more: Exxon Hid ‘Catastrophic’ Climate Prediction, State Suit Says

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