California is suing five of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, alleging that they engaged in a “decades-long campaign of deception” about climate change and the risks posed by fossil fuels that has forced the state to spend tens of billions of dollars to address environmental-related damages.
State Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta filed the lawsuit Friday in San Francisco County Superior Court alleging that Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and the American Petroleum Institute have known since the 1950s that the burning of fossil fuels would warm the planet but instead of alerting the public about the dangers posed to the environment they chose to deny or downplay the effects.
“Oil and gas companies have privately known the truth for decades — that the burning of fossil fuels leads to climate change,” Bonta said in a statement, “but have fed us lies and mistruths to further their record breaking profits at the expense of our environment. Enough is enough.”
Several other states and dozens of municipalities, including cities and counties in California, have filed similar lawsuits in recent years.