Economy

Bay Area cities sue major oil companies over climate change

Bay Area cities sue major oil companies over climate change”

"Fossil fuel companies were aware of these effects and continued to use profits at expense of residents", explained Parker. Legal experts note similarities between these climate-related public nuisance claims and claims brought against tobacco companies in the mid-1990s, which alleged that the companies had created a public nuisance by knowingly selling harmful products (those suits eventually culminated in a $206 billion settlement).

"It is appropriate that people are now looking to the courts, instead of legislators, to help hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to sea level rise and other climate impacts", Kimmell said in a statement.

In the suit, the cities compare big oil to big tobacco for the way they conducted PR campaigns to disguise the deleterious environmental damage they knew they were causing. "It's time for these companies to take responsibility for the harms they have caused and are continuing to cause". The harm to our cities has commenced and will only get worse. "These companies knew fossil fuel-driven climate change was real, they knew it was caused by their products and they lied to cover up that knowledge to protect their astronomical profits".

"The law is clear that the defendants are responsible for the consequences of their reckless and disastrous actions", Oakland City Atty. They also continue to promote fossil fuels, and have developed multi-decade future business plans based upon increased fossil fuel usage even as global warming has progressed into a severe danger zone.

The city attorneys of San Francisco and Oakland on Wednesday announced they are filing civil lawsuits against big oil companies for their role in damaging climate change that will impact their cities.

San Francisco is suing five of the world's largest oil and gas companies for the costs of sea walls and other infrastructure needed to protect against climate change.

A state-commissioned report issued in April projects that over the next 83 years, sea levels will rise up to 10 feet along San Francisco's coastline, where public and private properties worth billions of dollars are located just 6 feet above sea level.

According to the Pacific Institute, about four and a half feet of sea level rise by 2100 - on the higher end of projections, but certainly not out of the question - would leave more than 75,000 people in San Francisco and Alameda County vulnerable to inundation. "The real important thing in their doing this is that they both highlight the significant costs that cities are having to pay now, and they open up another new and really powerful legal avenue that other city, county, and state governments can pursue to recoup those costs from polluters that played a major role in creating those costs".



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