The trial involving New York's attorney general's lawsuit against Exxon, one of the world's largest oil and gas corporations, kicked off on Tuesday, and Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney said that it amounts to little more than a thinly-veiled "Soviet-style show trial" meant to advance a socialist takeover of the U.S. economy.
The lawsuit claims Exxon falsely told investors it had properly evaluated the impact of future climate regulations on its business using a “proxy cost” of up to $80 per ton of carbon emissions, but internally used figures as low as $40 per ton or none at all.
"You got that?" questioned Varney. "Of course you don't. You're not meant to understand the minutiae of legalisms. No, you're just supposed to believe that big oil is bad. That will be the takeaway from this charade. Big oil lies, so take them to the cleaners, take their money, ruin them."
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board covered the opening on the trial, writing "This saga began more than three years ago when 20 state AGs and Al Gore held a press conference to launch an investigation into unproven newspaper claims that Exxon had hidden from the public evidence of climate harm it knew to be true."
Varney called the effort a, "legal assault on fossil fuels," adding that the "climate warriors are not doing that well with voters, so they've gone to court."
"This is what happens when progressives use the courts for their own political purposes," he continued. "Injustice and lousy economics. That's what you get. Where's the progress in ruining the energy companies which fuel America's prosperity? What do you think $10 [per gallon] gas would do to working families because that's what we're going to get if progressives get their way."
Exxon Mobil told FOX Business that it met its responsibility to shareholders and argued that the case is politically motivated.
"Here's the bottom line. The left has latched on to climate change," Varney concluded. "The issue is a Trojan horse. They scream about the end of the world and use that scare for the socialists to take over the economy. The Exxon show trial is just a part of the whole sorry mess."
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Fox Business Network's Evie Fordman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.