ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil says it's aware of a New York probe into climate change research, but stressed many of the charges made against it are misleading.
InsideClimate News has produced a series of reports suggesting the energy company deliberately campaigned to cast doubt about the impacts of climate change even though Exxon's own scientists roughly 40 years ago warned the issue may threaten its core business.
The news site is reporting the company was issued with an 18-page subpoena by the New York Attorney General's office seeking full disclosure of its research on climate issues and what it may have shared with its board of directors, among other things. Accusations made against the oil company are similar to those made against the tobacco industry, in that it downplayed the threats of its products despite research acknowledging the risks.
Exxon said it rejected any suggestion it may have suppressed its own findings into climate change. In October, long before the New York subpoena, the company was questioning reporting from InsideClimate News and others.
Ken Cohen, Exxon's vice president of public and government affairs, said the reporting was inaccurate, deliberately misleading and charged "activists" with exploiting the issue. The company said its research widely mirrored the global understanding of climate issues at the time.
In a blog post published last month, the company said it was among the first of its kind to examine whether there's "a connection between the carbon dioxide emissions from humanity's use of fossil fuels and climate fluctuations."
Environmental advocacy group 350.org called in its supporters to join leading Democratic presidential candidates in calling on the federal Department of Justice to examine Exxon's transparency on the issue of climate change research.
Exxon said its critics have "cherry-picked" the data.
For New York, the Natural Resources Defense Council said state officials were setting the gold standard in its efforts to tackle climate change. Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the five city pension boards to consider a proposal to divest from coal to align funds with current trajectories in the energy market.