The state of California demands accountability and has filed a lawsuit against some of the world’s big oil producers and gas behemoths, accusing them of deceiving the public about the perils of fossil fuels.
The civil lawsuit, filed in the state Superior Court in San Francisco, also aims to establish a fund, bankrolled by the accused companies, to support recovery efforts in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters.
Big Oil in the lawsuit
California’s Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom, minced no words in asserting that the bi oil corporations named in the lawsuit, include ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and BP, and must be held accountable for their actions.
“For more than half a century, Big Oil has been feeding us falsehoods, concealing the inherent dangers of the fossil fuels they produce for our planet,” Newsom declared. “California taxpayers should not bear the financial burden of the extensive damages caused by wildfires decimating entire communities, toxic smoke polluting our air, lethal heatwaves, and record-breaking droughts desiccating our water sources.”
However, the American Petroleum Institute argued that climate policy should be debated in the halls of Congress, not within the confines of a courtroom.
Shell echoed the same sentiment, contending that the courtroom is not the appropriate venue to address the global warming crisis. “Confronting climate change necessitates a collective, society-wide approach,” the energy giant asserted.
Kathy Mulvey of the Union of Concerned Scientists emphasized the significance of California’s suit, saying, “California’s legal action adds to the mounting pressure to hold Big Oil responsible for its decades-long deceit and to secure justice for individuals and communities grappling with extreme weather and gradual environmental disasters furled by fossil fuels.”
The 135-page complaint lodged by California argues that these companies have been aware since at least the 1960s that burning fossil fuels would lead to global warming and climate change.
The lawsuit further claims that the companies’ scientists knew as early as the 1950s that the consequences of climate change would be catastrophic.
State Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a stern statement, asserting, “These companies have fed us falsehoods and untruths to boost their record-breaking profits at the expense of our environment. It’s time to say, ‘Enough is enough.'”