ExxonMobil has just won a crucial in the second climate change lawsuit to reach trial in the United States.

The decision was a blow for the New York Attorney General’s Office, which brought the case.

Justice Barry Ostrager of the New York State Supreme Court said that the attorney general failed to prove that the oil giant broke the law.

“Nothing in this opinion is intended to absolve ExxonMobil from responsibility for contributing to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gasses in the production of its fossil fuel products,” Ostranger wrote. But, he added, “this is a securities fraud case, not a climate change case.”

The case centered on how Exxon, the nation’s largest oil company, accounted for the potential cost of climate change in the future.

New York’s case accused the company of misrepresenting these costs, with James arguing that the company used one set of numbers publicly, while operating with a less conservative forecast internally.

When he took the stand on Oct. 30, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said that the company tried to understand the impact of climate change and tried to accurately communicate this impact to shareholders. Exxon said the case was misleading and politically motivated and the result of a coordinated effort by anti-fossil fuel groups.

“Today’s ruling affirms the position ExxonMobil has held throughout the New York Attorney General’s baseless investigation,” Exxon spokesperson Casey Norton said in a statement. “We provided our investors with accurate information on the risks of climate change. The court agreed that the Attorney General failed to make a case, even with the extremely low threshold of the Martin Act in its favor,” he added, while noting that the company would continue to invest in technologies seeking to reduce emissions.

The case was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means that “this case cannot be tried again on these facts in New York.

This is good news for those employed in the country’s energy industry and the millions of Americans who own stock. It is anticipated that 2020 is going to be a YUGE year for oil production.

U.S. crude oil production is expected to rise 930,000 bpd to an average of 13.18 million barrels per day (bpd) next year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday, slightly below its previous growth forecast of 1 million bpd.

For 2019, output is expected to rise 1.26 million bpd to 12.25 million bpd, the EIA said, also slightly below its previous growth forecast of 1.3 million bpd.

U.S. shale output has boomed over the past decade, helping make the nation the world’s largest crude oil producer and a major exporter with an average of just under 3 million bpd so far this year.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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