California has filed a lawsuit against major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips, for allegedly minimizing the risks associated with fossil fuels. The state claims that these companies have caused damages amounting to billions of dollars and have deceived the public about the impacts of their activities on climate change. The lawsuit also includes the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, as a defendant.
California is seeking the establishment of an abatement fund to cover future damages resulting from climate-related disasters in the state. However, the American Petroleum Institute has argued that climate policy should be decided by Congress rather than the court system. Shell, on the other hand, expressed the belief that the courtroom is not the appropriate venue for addressing climate change.
This legal action is part of a trend where states and municipalities across the United States have filed numerous lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry, claiming that their activities contribute to climate change and its associated impacts. These impacts include extreme weather events and their resulting damages.
At the time of reporting, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil had not responded to requests for comment.