Environmentalists on Wednesday accused former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—who served as CEO of ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016—of continuing to lie about the fossil fuel giant’s approach to climate change during his testimony in the historic New York v. Exxon trial.

The landmark securities fraud case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Exxon knowingly deceived shareholders about the financial costs of the climate crisis.

Tillerson denied that charge during his testimony, insisting that Exxon knew the climate crisis “was a real issue” and took it seriously.

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“The demand to make Exxon pay for climate chaos is only getting louder.”
—Dominique Thomas, 350.org

“We would be misinforming ourselves,” Tillerson said when asked if Exxon had an incentive to downplay the costs of climate change.

Lindsay Meiman, senior regional communications specialist at 350.org, strongly rejected Tillerson’s account.

“Just now, at the New York County Supreme Court, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson spewed more deception claiming Exxon executives took the risks of climate change seriously, yet, in the same breath, denied the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Meiman wrote in an email to supporters.