Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Image courtesy of Massachusetts Attorney General's Office/Facebook.

A federal judge in Fort Worth judge has questioned the objectivity of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey as the judge considers a subpoena requesting information from ExxonMobil.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade said Healey may have demonstrated “bad faith” in her probe into whether or not ExxonMobil properly disclosed the potential impacts climate change could have on investors and consumers, according to Bloomberg.

Kinkeade said he was concerned that Healey issued her subpoena while presupposing what her probe would uncover.

Kinkeade also expressed concern about a closed-door meeting Healey attended with environmentalist and other attorney generals one day before a joint press conference announcing plans to investigate Exxon.

Kinkeade is currently considering if he will throw out Healey’s subpoena.

An expected date for his decision has not been disclosed yet.

“We agree with the judge that Attorney General Healey’s actions are concerning,” Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers told Bloomberg.

Exxon has previously denied any wrongdoing and has noted that it has included information about climate related business risks for many years in its 10-K, Corporate Citizenship Report, and in other reports to shareholders.

Exxon confirmed in November that it received a subpoena from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for documents “relating to climate change.”

Schneiderman also attended the joint press conference.

News of the probes broke late last year following reports from InsideClimate News and the L.A. Times alleging that Exxon utilized climate change data to make operational decisions while working to publicly downplay science on global warming.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal last month that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked both ExxonMobil and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company’s auditor, for information and documents in August.

The SEC’s probe is reportedly probing how Exxon calculates the potential business impacts of climate change, the Journal said.

The SEC has not commented on the matter.


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