Thu. Oct 5th, 2023
    California Files Lawsuit Against Big Oil for Climate Change ‘Deception’

    California is taking on the oil industry with a lawsuit accusing five major oil companies and their trade association of a “decades-long campaign of deception and creating statewide climate change-related harms in California.” The lawsuit, filed by Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, alleges that Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) have known about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change but have misled the public to prioritize profits. The state presents evidence, including a 1968 report received by API, that indicates the oil companies’ knowledge of environmental damage caused by their products.

    The lawsuit aims to establish a nuisance abatement fund for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, seek injunctive relief to protect natural resources and prevent pollution, and prevent the companies from making further misleading statements about the contribution of fossil fuels to climate change. California Governor Gavin Newsom supports the lawsuit and condemns the oil industry for their “decades of damage and deception.”

    API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers dismisses the lawsuit as a distraction and an enormous waste of taxpayer resources, arguing that climate policy should be debated and decided by Congress, not the court system.

    This lawsuit marks a significant legal battle for California, which has a history of fighting climate change through legal means. The state has previously settled large cases with the tobacco industry and lead paint manufacturers. The monetary amount being sought from Big Oil in this lawsuit has yet to be determined but is expected to be substantial.

    Source: Los Angeles Times