NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts are urging a Texas judge to throw out a lawsuit brought by Exxon Mobil (XOM)  on grounds that it threatens the rights of states to look into corporate wrongdoing.

The most recent move by the two states has been backed by a dozen other states, according to Bloomberg. New York and Massachusetts have been conducting an investigation into whether the Irving, TX-based energy giant mislead investors on how climate change could affect its business, resulting in Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issuing a subpoena earlier this year.

Exxon followed up by suing Healey in Texas as a means of blocking it, Bloomberg reports. The company maintains that it was exercising free speech in its advertisements that mentioned climate change. 

The attorneys general are also examining whether the company knew with certainty about the links between fossil fuels and climate change. 

Exxon may have concluded in as early as the 1970s that continued use of their fossil fuels would impact the climate, the Washington Post reports.

Shares of Exxon are declining in late afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate EXXON MOBIL CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: XOM 

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