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21 Feb 2024

Dharna Noor, The Guardian

USA: Chicago sues major oil companies and lobbying group, alleging intentional misleading over climate dangers of oil and gas

"Chicago sues fossil fuel companies for role in climate crisis", 21 February 2024

The lawsuit targets major oil companies BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and Shell, alleging they intentionally misled the public about the impact of their products despite longstanding knowledge of the climate dangers of oil and gas.

The suit also names the... oil and gas lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute, as a defendant for allegedly working with oil companies to sow doubt about the climate crisis...

Chicago is additionally accusing the defendants of contributing to climate devastation throughout the city, including shoreline erosion, susceptibility to flooding, and dangerously hot summer temperatures...

In total, the complaint includes 10 counts of fraud, nuisance, conspiracy and other violations...

In a statement to the Guardian, the American Petroleum Institute senior vice-president and general counsel, Ryan Meyers, said the industry provided “affordable, reliable” energy and has cut its emissions. He described the wave of lawsuits against big oil as “meritless, politicized lawsuits against a foundational American industry”, and a “waste of taxpayer resources”.

A Shell spokesperson said the company was working to cut its emissions, and similarly added: “We do not believe the courtroom is the right venue to address climate change, but that smart policy from government and action from all sectors is the appropriate way to reach solutions and drive progress.”

A spokesperson for Phillips 66 also said “efforts around energy and climate solutions are best addressed outside the courtroom”.

Dennis Nuss, a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips, told the Guardian they would not comment on active litigation. BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to requests for comment.