Exxon Mobil, which operates a refinery in Torrance, above, has issued statements denying news reports that it suppressed climate-change research. (Christina House / For The Times)
Ivan PennContact Reporter
California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. repeatedly lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change — and whether such actions could amount to securities fraud and violations of environmental laws.
Harris’ office is reviewing what Exxon Mobil knew about global warming and what the company told investors, a person close to the investigation said.
The move follows published reports, based on internal company documents, suggesting that during the 1980s and 1990s the company, then known as Exxon, used climate research as part of its planning and other business practices but simultaneously argued publicly that climate-change science was not clear cut.
Those documents were cited in stories by reporters for Columbia University Energy and Environmental Reporting Fellowship, published in partnership with the Los Angeles Times. The nonprofit InsideClimate News also published several stories based on the documents.