The New York state attorney general has begun investigating whether Exxon Mobil lied to the public about climate change risks or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business, the New York Times reported Thursday. A subpoena was issued Wednesday evening demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.  

The focus of the investigation is on Exxon Mobil’s activities dating back to the 1970s and whether the oil and gas corporation funded groups that aimed to undermine climate science. The investigation is looking at whether the company sufficiently warned investors of the possible financial risks stemming from the societal need to limit the use 0f fossil fuels. When fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas -- are burned, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is a main driver of the greenhouse effect.  



Kenneth P. Cohen, vice president for public affairs at Exxon Mobil, said the company rejects the allegations that it had suppressed climate-change research, according to the New York Times. He added that the company had funded mainstream climate science since the 1970s and had even published dozens of scientific papers on the topic, as well as disclosed climate risks to investors.