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U.S. states agreed to keep Exxon climate-deception probe secret: here's why


As far back as the 1970s, Exxon conducted research that confirmed the occurrence of climate change—and that burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to it.
But the company—now ExxonMobil—largely kept that research under wraps, while funding campaigns that denied the science of climate change for decades.
This deception came to light last year, triggering multiple state-level investigations into the oil giant.
In early May, 15 states signed a pact that forms the basis of a joint investigation into whether ExxonMobil deliberately misled the public by contradicting research from its own scientists.
That agreement includes a provision that seeks to keep prosecutors' deliberations secret, but is also broadly written so that investigations may be expanded to other fossil-fuel companies, reports Reuters, which examined a copy of the document.