Oil giant Exxon Mobil was ordered by a state court Wednesday to disclose emails from an alias once used by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he was the company's CEO.
A New York state supreme court judge ordered the company to cooperate with Empire State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's request that it turn over emails from an account Tillerson used that went by the alias Wayne Tracker. Wayne is Tillerson's middle name.
The attorney general drew headlines last week when he sent a letter to the court, disclosing the alias as a potential lead in his investigation into Exxon Mobil's handling of climate change data that began over a year ago.
Schneiderman claimed that the alias was used to discuss climate change within the company, and should be disclosed among the millions of other documents the company has sent to the AG's office. The company said the email was used for high priority messages and not to discuss climate change.
Schneiderman's investigation is based on news reports that Exxon Mobil covered up findings from its own scientists that climate change would be harmful to its business.
The attorney general wants to prove that the company intentionally misled investors and the public on the effects of climate change.
The company adamantly rejects the claim as untrue, and asked the court last week to reject the AG's arguments in seeking to gain access to the Wayne Tracker account. The company took pains to show that Schneiderman's request was nothing more than a publicity stunt to renew attention on what it considers to be a failing investigation.