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Rhode Island Sues Oil Companies Over Climate Change, First State to Do So

Author: Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News (USA), Published on: 2 July 2018

Rhode Island on Monday became the first state to sue oil companies over the effects of climate change, filing a complaint seeking damages for the costs associated with protecting the state from rising seas and severe weather...[S]tate Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin...said it would hold the companies—including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Royal Dutch Shell—accountable for harm they have caused...The lawsuit, filed in Providence/Bristol County Superior Court, names 14 oil and gas companies and some of their affiliates, saying they created conditions that constitute a public nuisance under state law and failed to warn the public and regulators of a risk they were well aware of..."As a direct and proximate consequence of Defendants' wrongful conduct described in this Complaint, average sea level will rise substantially along Rhode Island's coast; average temperatures and extreme heat days will increase; flooding, extreme precipitation events...and drought will become more frequent and more severe..." the lawsuit states.  It says Rhode Island is already seeing the effects, and taxpayers are left to pay the costs.  Shell released a statement to Reuters saying that "lawsuits that masquerade as climate action and impede the collaboration needed for meaningful change" were not the answer to climate change...

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