Former Exxon Chief Rex Tillerson to Testify in Climate Change Fraud Trial

Leah Millis/File Photo/Reuters

 Former Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Rex Tillerson is expected to take the stand on Wednesday in a closely watched civil lawsuit accusing the company of hiding the true cost of climate change from investors.

The case in Manhattan state court, which kicked off last week, is the first of several lawsuits pending against major oil companies related to climate change to go to trial.

The lawsuit, brought by New York’s attorney general, alleges that Exxon falsely told investors it had properly evaluated the impact of future climate regulations on its business using a “proxy cost” of up to $80 per ton of carbon emissions, but internally used figures as low as $40 per ton or none at all.

It says Exxon caused investors to lose up to $1.6 billion.

Exxon has assailed the claims as false and politically motivated.

In his opening statement, Theodore Wells, a lawyer for the company, said that after Tillerson became chief executive in 2006, the company put in place a “robust system” to manage the risk of increasing climate change. Tillerson served as Exxon CEO from 2006 to 2017, and U.S. secretary of state under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018.

Wells said the $80 per ton proxy cost represented a “global,” “macro-level” assessment of the cost, while lower figures, known as greenhouse gas or GHG costs, were used for particular capital projects depending on circumstances. He said Exxon never told investors the two numbers were the same.

Last Thursday, just two days after the New York trial began, Massachusetts filed a similar lawsuit accusing Exxon of misleading investors and consumers for decades about the role fossil fuels play in climate change.

Both Massachusetts and New York began investigating Exxon after news reports in 2015 saying that its own scientists had determined that fossil fuel combustion must be reduced to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Those reports, by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times, were based on documents from the 1970s and 1980s. Exxon said the documents were not inconsistent with its public positions.

Exxon and other oil companies including BP Plc, Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc face lawsuits by cities and counties across the United States seeking funds to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure to guard against rising sea levels brought on by climate change.

The companies have said in court filings that they cannot be held liable for climate change.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Peter Cooney)

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I love climate change! It created the Great Lakes region where I live, that is surrounded and is interspersed with some of the most beautiful lakes in the world!! That’s much better than the mile deep glaciers that once were here, that later melted and formed these lakes! Can any of you Globull warming geeks explain to me what caused these glaciers to melt 10,000 years ago and form these lakes? SUV’s? Would you like to explain to me why Globull warming was good then and it’s bad now? Would you like to explain to me why during the 50… Read more »

Bonnie Keever

Climate change comes no matter what it has been shown over thousands of years

General Confusion

“They are in it for the money.” Charles

O.K., I’ll bite. How are the climate change proponents actually making money? It is the people in the oil and gas sector who are making gobs of money. They even convinced successive governments to pay them OUR tax money as subsidies. I am positive that the oil guys are one hell of a lot richer than alternative energy people will ever be.

In other words, I don’t believe you and the evidence won’t back you up.


Climate change is not caused by burning fossil fuels. If it was it wouldn’t have started 13,000 years ago before industrialization. 99% of North America was covered by ice 13,000 years ago, 2 – 4 miles thick (average 16,000 feet thick) between OR and NY. Man could not have inhabited it. The current countries of Canada and the USA are here because of climate change. Take some geology classes and become educated. Do not believe the ‘man made climate change’ hoaxers. They are in it for the money.

General Confusion

“You know nothing of the cause of climate change. You’re parroting the Liberal indoctrination, liar.” Charles

If that is what you think, then I know a hell of a lot more about climate change than you ever will. I used to scoff at the idea originally, but I know how to read, so I gradually changed my opinion on it. You can do the same thing.


This needs to be thrown out of court! Scientists do not know what caused the ice age glaciers to melt. It wasn’t the wooly mammoth factories and fuel consuming jets the wooly mammoths had. The west side of Antarctica is growing presently. People are trying to connect the dots, but they have no proof of the cause. Temperatures change! It has been a fact for centuries. Solar flares affect earth too, but all the talk we used to hear about their effects is quiet now. Some people want to control everyone else, but they cannot control truth or our thoughts.

william jackson

Hope Exxon counter sues for harassment and frivolous charges!

Dave Hardesty

Everyone who is really concerned with this man made climate change BS should stop being hypocrites and stop using anything that has it’s roots into fossil hydrocarbons. No plastics, little medicine, no cars of any type, zero electricity from any source as you need fossil hydrocarbons to being such things about. Organic clothing they hand weave themselves. Shoes? Nope, go barefoot because you don’t want to kill some innocent animal and what is available in stores are synthesized from fossil hydrocarbons. Oh, don’t forget, you can’t live in a home built with milled lumber unless you mill it by hand… Read more »





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