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Exxon Wins Against NY's Hypocritical Legal Lunacy

exxonmobil entrance in irving texas united states

An entrance to the ExxonMobil headquarters campus in Irving, texas. ExxonMobil is a publicly traded international oil and gas company. (Wellesenterprises/Dreamstime)

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Monday, 16 December 2019 09:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On Dec. 10, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager cleared ExxonMobil Corp. of fraud claims saying that New York’s attorney general failed to establish that the oil company had deceived investors about how it accounted for the cost of future climate change regulation.

Judge Ostrager’s verdict capped a sham case filed in 2016 under the state’s Martin Act, an archaic 1921 New York law which allows an attorney general to bring charges and commence investigations without any probable cause that an investor was actually harmed.

During the trial, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James accused the company of using two different accounting methods — one public, and one internal — to project its business costs  in countries that were expected to implement policies to combat climate change.

Damage to shareholders was estimated to be as much as $1.6 billion.

The Supreme Court ruling disagreed, finding, "The Office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor."

Still, despite the fact that ExxonMobil shareholders were charitably credited with having enough sense to realize that climate changes began long before any possible human influences, the judge wasn’t of a mind to let ExxonMobil off the hook for all culpability in the matter.

He ruled, "Nothing in this opinion is intended to absolve ExxonMobil from responsibility for contributing to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases in the production of its fossil fuel products."

In other words, ExxonMobil assumedly should be shamed for producing an allegedly dangerous substance that we and most everyone else in the world depend upon for 80 percent or more of the energy we consume every day. Let’s compare that amount, for example, with the 3 percent of U.S. energy (at best) that we get from wind and solar combined.

If ExxonMobil is producing truly dangerous products consumed even by prosecutors in the office of Attorney General Letitia James who filed the suit — shouldn’t they, along with their plaintiffs, be made equally culpable for purchasing and using those evil substances?

Hypocritical activists have been waging wars to drive key oil and gas suppliers out of business for years, with Exxon — later becoming ExxonMobil — a prized trophy target

Much of this activist hostility can be traced back to the late 1990s when Exxon and most other oil and gas companies rallied against a big Clinton-Gore climate alarm-premised push for the U.S. to participate in the U.N.-sponsored Kyoto CO2 Cap-and-trade agreement.

Big Oil wasn’t alone in pushing back against Kyoto. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed severe limitations virtually guaranteeing that they wouldn’t ratify it.

Attempts by ExxonMobil, BP, and other companies to buy immunity from unrelenting anti-fossil attacks have gone nowhere.

ExxonMobil certainly wasn’t awarded any green gratitude for donating $100 million to Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project in 2002 to promote breakthrough developments in technologies which include high-efficiency energy, CO2 storage, and bioenergy such as ethanol.

Maxwell Wessel, a chief innovation officer at German software giant SAP SE, reminds us to also recall the results of BP’s "Beyond Petroleum" financial fiasco. The company divested its failing wind power assets in 2013, following a previous 2011 exit from solar power after 40 years in the business.

Mark Mills, a partner with Cottonwood Venture Partners and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, notes that oil executives "have to genuflect in the direction of what’s going on in climate change circles."

Quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article by John Stall, he states that this is because, "Governments are pressing us to reduce our carbon footprint; investor appetite for all-things-sustainable is growing; no one wants to be labeled a climate change denier."

Mr. Mills observes that executives "got way over their skis" on costs when oil prices were high. An industry climate change economic meltdown has since caused oil company profits to fall 31% during the most recent quarter.

Money problems are only part of the equation. Mills said the "epic-low [market] valuations of these companies is being partially driven by the fact they are on the wrong side of climate discussion."

Ironically, as Mills points out, even with all the talk of a greener future, the world’s thirst for their vital oil grows every year.

So meanwhile, let’s recognize that ExxonMobil and other vital petroleum companies aren’t really conspiring to undermine "alternative energy" markets advocated by powerful green lobbies and pandering subsidy rent-seekers.

Instead, they’re being kept very busy fighting costly, frivolous, hypocritical lawsuits, while also keeping our historically high American economy fueled, our lights on, our homes comfortable, and our engines running.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including “The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives” (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports Click Here Now.

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LarryBell
ExxonMobil and other vital petroleum companies aren’t really conspiring to undermine "alternative energy" markets advocated by powerful green lobbies and pandering subsidy rent-seekers. They’re being kept very busy fighting costly, frivolous, hypocritical lawsuits,
sap se, cap and trade, bp
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Monday, 16 December 2019 09:57 AM
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