Environmentalists are given short shrift in Exxon settlement hearing

During this morning’s oral arguments, the Record reports, “Lawyers for Exxon Mobil and the Christie administration touted the benefits of a controversial $225 million environmental settlement before a state judge on Thursday, trying to counter significant criticism of the deal from environmentalists and Democrats in the Legislature.” Acting Attorney General John Hoffman argued for the State, an indication of how important the administration views this matter. Hoffman said, “This is a fair and reasonable resolution.”

After Judge Hogan earlier this month denied a bid by eight environmental groups to testify before him against the settlement, the environmental groups appealed that ruling to the Appellate Division on Tuesday. Environmentalists’ lawyer Edward Lloyd of Columbia Law School requested a stay postponing the case until their appeal to the Appellate Division was decided. Hogan denied the request for a stay.

At this point we are awaiting the Appellate Court decision which if favorable would allow a hearing for environmentalists – much more advantageous than them just submitting amicus curiae briefs. In the meantime the judge said he did not expect to issue his final decision on the settlement itself until the end of August.

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