Exxon Hopes for New York Top Cop With Different View on Climate

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is hoping the downfall of Eric Schneiderman will be an opportunity for the next New York attorney general to come to a “different conclusion” on the oil giant’s role in climate change.

“I hope whoever comes in steps back and takes an objective look, looks at the discovery they’ve had, looks at our position, what we’ve done and comes to a different conclusion,” Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods told reporters after Exxon’s annual general meeting in Dallas.

Schneiderman, who abruptly stepped down from the state’s top law enforcement post this month amid allegations he assaulted several women, was investigating Exxon’s accounting practices relating to climate change. He denies wrongdoing.

In June of last year, Schneiderman provided detailed findings from the fraud probe for the first time, saying Exxon may have been using two sets of numbers -- one public and one secret -- to calculate the future impact of the Earth’s warming on its assets. Exxon denied the claims, calling them “inaccurate and irresponsible” at the time.

Exxon subsequently counter sued, claiming officials were conspiring with environmental groups and that they had made up their minds about securities-fraud probes before they had started. This suit was thrown out by a New York judge in March.

3 Million Pages

“We’ve submitted over 3 million pages of documents,” Woods said. “The investigation emphasis has shifted and moved over time. I’m real confident with where we stand there.”

Woods said he hasn’t met the interim New York attorney general, Barbara Underwood.

“Our office’s work has continued without interruption –- and that certainly includes the Exxon investigation,” Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman at the attorney general’s office, said in an emailed response to questions.

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