New York AG investigating Exxon’s accounting practices

New York AG investigating Exxon’s accounting practices
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New York’s attorney general is reportedly investigating Exxon Mobil Corp. over its decision not to reevaluate the value of its assets amid the oil price crash.

Exxon, the country’s largest oil and natural gas company, stands alone in the industry as the only major company to not incorporate write-downs into its accounting to reflect the last two years of historically low oil prices, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

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Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) is already conducting a high-profile investigation accusing Exxon of lying to shareholders and the public about climate change and how it could affect its business.

An Exxon spokesman declined to comment to the Journal about its report, saying only that the company complies with all rules and regulations. The Journal cited people familiar with Schneiderman’s investigation in its report.

Major oil producers have written down about $200 billion since 2014. Exxon has defended its decisions not to take a similar tactic, although numerous analysts have questioned the company’s accounting.

Avoiding write-downs has helped Exxon outperform many of its competitors, the Journal said.

Schneiderman’s investigation would likely use his power under the Martin Act, a New York state law that gives the state broad powers to investigate and punish companies for misleading investors.