ExxonMobil is going after individuals and groups who are suing the oil giant, slapping them with lawsuits and legal threats of its own.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Exxon has put at least 30 people and groups in its crosshairs as it seeks to push back against what it says is an effort by lawyers, state officials and environmental groups to smear the company.
Exxon alleges that the public relations and legal campaign against it was developed six years ago in La Jolla, Calif. The company has dubbed the alleged crusade against it the “La Jolla playbook,” according to Bloomberg.
Exxon and other oil and gas companies have been the target of lawsuits by New York City and eight cities and counties in California alleging that the companies tried to cover up evidence of climate change.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are also investigating whether Exxon sought to mislead shareholders and consumers by whitewashing information on climate change.
Exxon has denied those allegations and has said that it recognizes the reality of climate change.
“The attorneys general have violated Exxon Mobil’s right to participate in the national conversation about how to address the risks presented by climate change,” Dan Toal, a lawyer for Exxon told Bloomberg. “That is the speech at issue here — not some straw man argument about whether climate change is real.”