Legal action against fossil fuel corporations
Climate-busting oil and gas pipelines are being blocked in US courts, and states are taking legal action against the fossil fuel industry. During July 2020, the courts successfully slowed or stopped the Keystone XL, the Dakota Access, and the Atlantic Coast pipelines, and Minnesota and D.C. sued key players in the fossil fuel industry for misleading the public about the health dangers of their product.
Current news from the past month:
“For decades, these oil and gas companies spent millions to mislead consumers and discredit climate science in pursuit of profits. The defendants violated the District’s consumer protection law by concealing the fact that using fossil fuels threatens the health of District residents and the environment. OAG filed this suit to end these disinformation campaigns and to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive practices.”
"Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute over what he calls "a campaign of deception" about climate change that the companies "orchestrated and executed with disturbing success."
Ellison and his office say internal documents show the oil and gas companies knew the damage that fossil fuels would cause as far back as the 1970s and '80s, yet hid that science and instead launched public relations campaigns denying climate change.
"They directly contradicted what their research found," Ellison tells NPR. "We can prove that and we will."
The lawsuit claims that the oil and gas companies violated Minnesota laws against consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false statements in advertising. Ellison said last week that the state is seeking "substantial" damages and for the companies to fund a public education campaign about climate change."
"These three announcements, in the span of twenty-four hours, are the payoff of a decade of endless hearings and petitions and trips to jail—a triumph against what seemed overwhelming odds. They also show that, going forward, only the truly reckless will henceforth invest their money in giant fossil-fuel-infrastructure projects. The victory here is measured not just in pipelines defeated but in pipelines and other projects that will never even be proposed, simply because it has been demonstrated that opponents have the resources—in bodies, in determination, in legal talent, and in moral standing—to slow them down to the point where profitability becomes impossible. Should Trump be reëlected, he may be able to help some of these giant projects hang on. If he’s defeated, their lifeline will be gone, and with it a century’s worth of fossil-fuel expansion."
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