California Files Suit Against Oil Majors for Misleading on Climate Change -- OPIS
California has filed a civil lawsuit against five oil majors and
the industry's largest lobbying group, the American Petroleum
Institute, for allegedly engaging in "deception and creating
climate change-related harms."
In a Saturday statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta
said his office has sued ExxonMobil Corp., Shell Plc, Chevron
Corp., ConocoPhillips Corp. and BP Plc in the San Francisco County
Superior Court on behalf of the state.
California's complaint asserts that "although the companies have
known since at least the 1960s that the burning of fossil fuels
would warm the planet and change our climate, they denied or
downplayed climate change in public statements and marketing."
California is seeking "nuisance abatement through the creation
of a fund to finance climate mitigation and adaptation efforts;
injunctive relief to both protect California's natural resources
from pollution, impairment, and destruction as well as to prevent
the companies from making any further false or misleading
statements about the contribution of fossil fuel combustion to
climate change; damages; and penalties," Bonta said.
In California, a public nuisance is anything which is injurious
to health and affects the public. In addition, the state said it is
accusing the majors of damage to natural resources, false
advertising and misleading environmental marketing, among
Bonta alleged that the majors and API have long known about the
climate impacts caused by using fossil fuels.
Specifically, he said that API and its members in 1968 received
a report from the Stanford Research Institute which it had hired to
conduct research on environmental pollutants including carbon
dioxide. According to Bonta, the report published 55 years ago
stated that "significant temperature changes are almost certain to
occur by the year 2000."
API's General Counsel Ryan Meyers said in a statement that the
past two decades showed the industry can provide affordable energy
while "reducing emissions and our environmental footprint."
"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," Meyers said.
In August, California also took steps to move closer to
regulating gasoline profits to curb what it regards as excessive
for refiners selling fuels in the state.
In the past several decades, California has been active in suing
automakers and the oil industry alleging that they are breaking
environmental laws. In addition, California has set Corporate
Average Fuel Economy standards that are more stringent than the
federal government's, forcing carmakers to adopt the tougher
requirements nationwide because of the state's massive market.
This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which
is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from
Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.
--Reporting by Frank Tang, email@example.com; Editing by Michael
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 18, 2023 13:47 ET (17:47 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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