Photo: John Gress/Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission is dropping its two-year investigation of ExxonMobil, about whether it misled its investors with regard to the risks greenhouse-gas regulations pose to the company.

Why it matters: This is a significant victory for the oil giant, which is still facing pressure from multiple attorneys general investigations and lawsuits related to its actions and climate change. The news also bodes well for the industry writ large, given any affirmative action by the SEC in this case could have had broad implications.

Between the lines: While some may see this as the Trump administration giving Exxon a pass, the SEC is an independent government agency, so the influence of politics and the White House should be much less -- nonexistent, ostensibly -- than if it were a Cabinet agency.

ExxonMobil said in a statement to Axios:

 On August 2, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission informed ExxonMobil that it has concluded its investigation of the company’s climate change disclosures, impairments, and reserves and does not intend to recommend an enforcement action against the company. The SEC initiated its investigation in January 2016, and ExxonMobil cooperated fully with the inquiry, ultimately producing more than 4.2 million pages of documents. After a thorough investigation, including a review of these documents, the SEC issued its closure letter.
As we have said all along, the SEC is the appropriate entity to examine issues related to impairment, reserves and other communications important to investors. We are confident our financial reporting meets all legal and accounting requirements. 

Go deeper: Coverage by The WSJ and Bloomberg

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1 hour ago - Science

3 dead and thousands evacuated as Northern California fires explode

A building at the Meadowood Napa Valley luxury resort burns after the Glass Fire moved through the area on September 28, 2020 in St. Helena, California. Photo: by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than for 5o,000 people, per AP.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 33,273,720 — Total deaths: 1,000,555 — Total recoveries: 23,056,480Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 7,147,241 — Total deaths: 205,031 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.