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Rhode Island becomes first state to sue oil industry, seek damages for climate change

Author: Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, Published on: 2 July 2018

Rhode Island filed a landmark climate lawsuit Monday against the world’s largest petroleum companies, making the state the first to seek damages to cover what is says are costs of global warming in what had previously been a legal fight waged exclusively by liberal localities.  Gov. Gina Raimondo, joined by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse...made the announcement at the Narragansett Sea Wall, part of a 400-mile coastline stretch that she said makes Rhode Island “more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than any other state.”...The state’s “public nuisance” claim, which seeks potentially billions of dollars to cover infrastructure costs associated with an anticipated sea level rise, follows more than a dozen similar lawsuits filed by progressive communities in coastal areas of California, New York and Washington, as well as in landlocked Colorado....Infrastructure in need of upgrades or repairs include the electric grid, bridges, roads, ports, wastewater management facilities, beaches and dams, the filing stated.  The companies named in the Rhode Island complaint include Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP PLC, Shell, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and Royal Dutch Shell....Exxon Mobil has threatened to sue the California localities, pointing out that many of them failed to disclose the climate change threat in their bond offerings to investors.

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