Minnesota sues Exxon, API for climate change

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The Minnesota Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Exxon, the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries, alleging that they have spent decades deceiving the public about climate change.

Charges against the companies and the API by AG Keith Ellison include fraud, deceptive marketing practices and misrepresentation in advertising, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“The accused have deceived, lied to and misrepresented the effects of their product on the public,” Ellison told media at a press conference. Asked about the extent of the damages he would seek in court, Ellison replied that it would be a great deal, adding, in response to another question, that this could be in the balance of the $ 7 billion settlement that the the tobacco industry paid in Minnesota. in 1998.

“The fraud, misleading advertising and other violations of Minnesota law and common law that the trial shows they have committed have harmed Minnesota’s health and the environment, infrastructure and state economy, “said Ellison, quoted by Reuters.

The state attorney general added that he had asked the court to make Exxon, Koch Industries and API pay for a climate change education campaign in addition to the damage they would have caused to their business for the environment.

“Legal proceedings like this waste millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars and do nothing to advance meaningful actions that reduce the risks of climate change,” said Exxon in a statement quoted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. .

The American Petroleum Institute said the oil and gas industry has provided “affordable and reliable American energy to American consumers over the past two decades, while dramatically reducing emissions and our environmental footprint.” Any suggestion to the contrary is false. ”

This is the latest in a series of court challenges from Exxon and other oil and gas companies targeted by US states and counties as culprits for climate change.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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