At VIFreepBreaking NewsBusiness NewsEnvironmental NewsNational NewsSt. Croix NewsSt. John NewsSt. Thomas NewsTerritorial Affairs

AG Claude Walker Caves Under Pressure From Climate Change Deniers And Withdraws Subpoena Against Exxon Mobil


  V.I. AG Claude Walker

HOUSTON — Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker agreed on Wednesday to withdraw a sweeping subpoena issued against Exxon Mobil Corp as part of a push by a coalition of state prosecutors to try to investigate whether the world’s largest publicly traded oil company misled the public about climate change risks.

“After conferring on the matter, the parties mutually agreed that Attorney General Walker will withdraw the subpoena and Exxon Mobil will stipulate to the dismissal without prejudice of this action,” read a filing in U.S. district court signed by lawyers from both sides.

Walker filed a subpoena in March seeking decades of documents related to Exxon’s climate science and commentary.

Exxon, which has said that it has acknowledged the reality of climate change for years, called the subpoena unreasonably burdensome and intrusive. It also raised questioned about jurisdiction.

The oil company has been locked in tangles with opponents of fossil fuels for months in fights that have spilled over into U.S. Congress and shareholder meetings.

In a bid to try to force action on climate change, about 17 state attorneys general said in March they would jointly investigate whether Exxon executives misled the public by contradicting research from company scientists that spelled out the threats of global warming.

But so far only a few of them have filed subpoenas.

The one from the Virgin Islands was notably bold because it tried to invoke the territory’s anti-racketeering laws, which are similar to the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Since as far back as 2012 some environmental groups have talked about whether RICO laws could be used against the fossil fuel industry the way they were successfully applied against Big Tobacco.

On March 22 Walker filed the subpoena, and Exxon started filing a series of motions to have it thrown out on April 13. Then each side entered talks.

The case is No. 4:16-CV-00364-K in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.


Previous post

Health Department Testing Reveals Three New Cases Of The Zika Virus In St. Thomas

Next post

Attempted Murder Suspect Jashawn Peters Surrenders To Police In St. Thomas

The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *