California Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

Officials have filed a suit against five major oil companies in the state for damages related to climate change.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the suit on September 16, the same day it was filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta at the San Francisco County Superior Court. The suit accuses five of the largest oil companies in the world of knowingly suppressing and spreading disinformation about the effects of climate change for decades. It also points out that the companies recent initiatives to “go green” are complete bullshit.

The suit also claims that Exxon, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and BP — as well as the American Petroleum Institute industry trade group — have continued their deception to today, promoting themselves as “green” with small investments in alternative fuels, while primarily investing in fossil fuel products.

Oil companies have shown recently that they’re willing to go to some questionable lengths to make the public think they’re on board with green energy. From buying ads that don’t appear to be ads, to outright lying about green energy investments. California wants these companies to pay for the untold ecological damage left behind by their deception and greed. “The companies that have polluted our air, choked our skies with smoke, wreaked havoc on our water cycle, and contaminated our lands must be made to mitigate the harms they have brought upon the State,” the suit says.

The state hopes to create a climate change fund that oil companies pay into that would then help pay for damages related to climate change, such as rebuilding after wildfire season for instance. Unsurprisingly, the oil companies don’t agree with the suit as spokespeople for shell and API (American Petroleum Institute) pointed out.

“We do not believe the courtroom is the right venue to address climate change, but that smart policy from government and action from all sectors is the appropriate way to reach solutions and drive progress,” Shell spokesperson Anna Arata said in an email.

“This ongoing, coordinated campaign to wage meritless, politicized lawsuits against a foundational American industry and its workers is nothing more than a distraction from important national conversations and an enormous waste of California taxpayer resources,” API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers said in a statement. “Climate policy is for Congress to debate and decide, not the court system.”

While California state officials seek to battle it out in a courtroom with oil companies over climate change, California drivers are facing another battle with oil companies on their own: gas prices. Data from AAA shows gas prices in Southern California have been climbing at their fastest rate all year. As of September 14, the average price of gas in the LA metro area was $5.62. Thats up 18 cents from a week prior and 38 cents higher than it was in August. It’s also over $2 higher than the national average.


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