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Delaware sues oil companies for lying about their products' effect on climate change

"Delaware sues oil companies for lying about their products' effect on climate change", 10 September 2020.

The Delaware attorney general...sued 31 fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Chevron and BP, accusing them of deceiving the public about the role their products play in causing climate change and damaging the state's environment. Attorney General Kathy Jennings said at a press briefing the companies engaged in a decadeslong coordinated campaign to mislead the public out of greed.

The complaint filed by Jennings says the companies have known for more than 50 years that pollution caused by their products would adversely impact the Earth's climate and sea level. It seeks compensation for current and future damages and penalties of $10,000 for each instance in which the defendants violated the Consumer Fraud Act since the mid-20th century...As the country's lowest-lying state, Delaware is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change wrought by an increase of greenhouse gas pollution and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the past several decades...

The American Petroleum Institute, the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, is also named in the lawsuit. In a statement, Paul Afonso, the group's chief legal officer, said the industry has provided "affordable" and "reliable" energy while "substantially reducing emissions and our environmental footprint."...

In an email, ExxonMobil spokesperson Casey Norton said the state's claims are "baseless and without merit."...

Delaware joins a growing list of cities and states that have filed lawsuits against the oil industry. Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Minnesota have each filed similar suits...

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