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Delaware sues 30 fossil fuel companies and the American Petroleum Institute over climate ‘denial and disinformation’

Factory chimney smoke. Photo by: @veeterzy, via: Unsplash

"Delaware just sued 30 fossil fuel companies and the American Petroleum Institute over climate ‘denial and disinformation’", 12 September 2020.

Delaware...announced on Thursday, September 10 that it is taking dozens of major oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil to court over the rising costs of climate impacts such as sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Like other U.S. states and municipalities suing the fossil fuel industry, Delaware says that the industry knew half a century ago about the likely climate impacts resulting from the use of its products, but instead of warning the public or changing their business model, the fossil fuel companies engaged in campaigns to attack climate science and downplay the risks of burning coal, oil, and gas in order to stave off policy responses...

The lawsuit, filed September 10 in Delaware Superior Court, a state court, seeks monetary damages to help pay for costs the state is already incurring and that are expected to mount as climate impacts worsen.

As noted in Delaware’s complaint, the state has the lowest average elevation of any state in the country and more than 22,000 residents are currently threatened by coastal flooding. Sea level rise puts at risk over $1 billion in property value as well as the state’s $3.5 billion tourism industry with the loss of beaches. Communities of color and low-income communities in the state are especially vulnerable to extreme heat events, which are expected to substantially increase in frequency in the coming decades...

Delaware is bringing its lawsuit under legal claims of public nuisance, trespass, negligent failure to warn, and violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. Defendants include 29 major oil and gas companies, one coal company, and the American Petroleum Institute (API), the largest trade association for the U.S. oil and gas industry...

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