WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by oil company Exxon Mobil, clearing the way for the attorney general of Massachusetts to obtain internal company documents to probe whether Exxon Mobil concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in climate change.

“Certiorari denied”, the Supreme Court said in an order list issued on Monday, indicating that the justices will not hear Exxon’s appeal of a ruling by the Massachusetts Superior Court, which denied the company’s request for an order protecting it from handing company documents on climate change dating back to the 1970s to the state attorney general’s office. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey opened an investigation into Exxon Mobil Corporation’s potential violations of the state consumer protection statute on 19 April 2016, seeking information on whether the company may have provided consumers and investors with misleading information regarding the impact of fossil fuels on climate change, as well as climate change-driven risks to its business.

A total of 17 states and territories are cooperating in the investigation.

In October 2018, New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Exxon alleging that the oil company for years misled investors about the risks of climate change regulations on its business.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a US-based multinational oil and gas corporation, forged in 1999 as a result of the merger of Exxon and Mobil, former Standard Oil Companies of New Jersey and New York, respectively.