Advance Notice: Briefs

AG pulls Michigan from ExxonMobil suit

By: - February 7, 2019 8:33 pm

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Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel on Thursday continued her quest to remove the state from federal lawsuits her GOP predecessor had joined.

Dana Nessel

Nessel announced she had exited the state from the case of ExxonMobil v. Healey in the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals. GOP former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette had last year joined the suit in an amicus brief as a sign of support for the company.

The case alleges that the oil giant had documents indicating it knew the extent to which burning fossil fuels contributed to climate change. The company sued Massachusetts and New York attorneys general Maura Healey and Letitia James, respectively, in a bid to block the release of those documents.

Nessel said that her position on climate change was the impetus for withdrawing the state from the lawsuit.

“The safety of our air and water and the deep concerns with climate change are compelling reasons for us to withdraw from this case,” said Nessel. “ExxonMobil has tried to withhold information from public officials and we simply can’t support their position.”

Nessel’s withdrawal of support for the case makes for the 27th federal lawsuit she’s exited since taking office on Jan. 1, as the Advance reported yesterday. On Wednesday, she withdrew Michigan from two cases, one involving voting rights and one involving “dark money” in politics.

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.