Gov. Newsom and AG Bonta say they are taking a stand to hold major polluters accountable.
On Saturday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, alongside Governor Gavin Newsom, announced the filing of a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute (API), “for allegedly engaging in a decades-long campaign of deception and creating statewide climate change-related harms in California.”
According to a press release from AG Bonta’s office, the complaint, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, contends that despite being aware since the 1960s of the detrimental impact of fossil fuel combustion on the environment and climate, these companies opted to publicly deny or downplay climate change in their statements and marketing efforts.
AG Bonta says, “With our lawsuit, California stakes its claim as the largest geographic area and economy to challenge these major oil corporations in court. The undeniable reality of the climate crisis, ranging from sweltering heatwaves to crippling droughts and water scarcity, demands accountability. It is high time they shoulder the responsibility for rectifying the damage they have caused. We are committed to rising to this occasion and championing the cause of all Californians, especially those residing in communities dedicated to environmental justice.”
For his part, Governor Newsom said, “For over half a century, Big Oil has deceived us — obscuring the fact that they’ve long understood the perilous nature of the fossil fuels they extract. California taxpayers shouldn’t be left holding the bag for billions in damages — devastating wildfires eradicating entire communities, toxic smog choking our air, lethal heatwaves, and unprecedented droughts desiccating our wells. Through this lawsuit, California is taking a stand to hold these major polluters accountable and ensure our citizens receive the justice they rightfully deserve.”
The governor’s office says the lawsuit is comprehensive in its aims. It seeks court orders mandating oil companies to shoulder the costs of environmental and public health impacts, to prevent further pollution and harm to California, to impose financial penalties for deceptive practices, and to award punitive damages as a consequence of their alleged misconduct.
- Attorney General Bonta Announces Lawsuit
- People of the State of California v. Big Oil | California Governor
- SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Media Coverage (5)
- Al Jazeera
- California sues oil giants alleging ‘climate risks deception’: Report
- California sues 5 major oil companies, accuses them of deceiving public over the risks of fossil fuel use
- France 24
- ‘Big Oil has been lying to us’: Califonia sues oil giants over climate change damages
- New York Times
- California Sues Giant Oil Companies, Citing Decades of Deception
- California sues oil giants for downplaying risks posed by fossil fuels – NYT