By Karen Savage
Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against Exxon, three Koch Industries entities and the American Petroleum Institute, accusing them of consumer fraud and other violations for their decades-long deception about their role in climate change, state attorney general Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday.
The suit, filed in Minnesota District Court in Ramsey County, includes claims of fraud, failure to warn and alleges multiple violations of state laws involving consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising.
Unlike the other major climate liability lawsuits, Minnesota’s takes the extra step of including the API, the most powerful oil and gas trade association in the country, as a named defendant. The state alleges that the API, along with Exxon and Koch Industries, have known about the risks of climate change for decades, but deliberately mislead the public about those risks in an effort to increase industry profits.
“When corporations and trade associations break the law and hurt Minnesotans, it’s my job and my duty to hold them accountable,” Ellison said. “The fraud, deceptive advertising, and other violations of Minnesota state law and common law that the lawsuit shows they perpetrated have harmed Minnesotans’ health and our state’s environment, infrastructure, and economy.”