By Karen Savage
Washington D.C. has filed a lawsuit against oil majors ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell, accusing them of deceiving consumers about climate change risks and engaging in a coordinated decades-long campaign to mislead the public, attorney general Karl A. Racine announced on Thursday.
The lawsuit is the latest in a series of suits that attempt to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its role in climate change, with this one and one filed Wednesday by the state of Minnesota both specifically targeting the industry’s pattern of deception.
The lawsuit, filed in Washington’s Superior Court, alleges the companies knew as early as the 1950s that emissions from burning oil and gas posed an existential threat to humanity. Instead of warning consumers, the district alleges the companies engaged in a multi-decade, multi-million dollar public relations campaign to cast doubt on climate research in order to protect their profits.
Similar to a suit filed yesterday by Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison, Racine alleges the companies violated his district’s consumer protection laws.
“For decades, these oil and gas companies spent millions to mislead consumers and discredit climate science in pursuit of profits,” Racine said. “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 (Office of Attorney General) filed this suit to end these disinformation campaigns and to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive practices.”[Read more…]