ExxonMobil's lawsuit against radical environmental groups dismissed after settlement.


On Monday, a U.S. court dismissed ExxonMobil's lawsuit against the environmental fund group Arjuna, as the latter had promised not to submit the proposal.

On Monday, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by ExxonMobil against the activist group Arjuna Capital after the group agreed not to submit future proxy filings at the company's annual meetings.

The lawsuit, initiated by the largest oil company in the U.S., has raised concerns among activists and public pension investors who believe that it aims to suppress debate between shareholders and publicly traded companies.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Pittman ruled that Exxon's claim was no longer valid because Arjuna had "unconditionally and irrevocably" agreed not to submit proposals regarding Exxon's greenhouse gas emissions.

In dismissing the case, Pittman wrote that Arjuna's commitment not to submit similar resolutions "eliminated any case or controversy," and stated that the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Exxon could file the lawsuit again in the future.

Exxon said in a statement: "Our lawsuit exposed the abuse of the shareholder access system. The court has made it clear that Arjuna cannot continue to abuse this process. The strength of shareholder democracy depends on rules that are applied fairly and consistently."

Arjuna did not respond to a request for comment.

Arjuna and the Netherlands-based environmental group Follow This had proposed that shareholders vote to require the oil giant to set new targets to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions.

Exxon sued the two groups in January and refused to drop the lawsuit even after they agreed not to submit petitions, citing the possibility that "both might submit similar resolutions in the future." Last month, Pittman removed Follow This from the case because it was outside his court's jurisdiction.



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