California sues big oil companies, claiming decades of deception on climate harm
The state of California has sued five major oil companies – Exxon Mobil (XOM), Shell (SHEL), BP (BP), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Chevron (CVX) – claiming their actions have caused billions of dollars in damage and deceived the public by downplaying the risks posed by fossil fuels, The New York Times reported Saturday.
California is seeking the creation of an abatement fund to pay for future damages caused by climate-related disasters in the state, the report said.
Detailing the growing damage purportedly inflicted on California by climate change, the complaint says “oil and gas company executives have known for decades that reliance on fossil fuels would cause these catastrophic results, but they suppressed that information from the public and policymakers by actively pushing out disinformation on the topic… result[ing] in tremendous costs to people, property, and natural resources, which continue to unfold each day.”
Various other states and municipalities across the U.S. have filed similar lawsuits in recent years, but the California action becomes one of the most significant legal challenges facing the fossil fuel industry.