California Seeks Corporate Profits Amid Big Oil Climate Lawsuit

(Reuters) – California’s attorney general sought on Monday to force the world’s largest oil companies to give up profits the state claims to have made, while misleading consumers about their role in contributing to climate change.

The lawsuit comes months after a new state law took effect allowing the attorney general to seek profits from companies when they violated laws against unfair competition and false advertising.

Attorney General Rob Bonta added the so-called disgorgement remedy to a lawsuit filed last year against Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and the oil and gas industry trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The complaint, filed in state court in San Francisco, alleges that the energy giants have caused tens of billions of dollars in damages and accuses them of deceiving the public.

API called the suit meritless.

“This ongoing, coordinated campaign to bring politicized and baseless lawsuits against a fundamental American industry and its workers is nothing more than a distraction from important national conversations and a huge waste of taxpayer resources,” said Ryan Meyers, API general counsel, in a statement. “Climate policy is a matter for Congress to debate and decide, not a patchwork of courts.”

Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP and ConocoPhillips were not immediately available for comment.

The complaint comes days after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on countries to ban advertising of fossil fuels, as many do for tobacco and other products that have been shown to be harmful to health human.

In recent weeks, major oil and gas companies have fought back against activist shareholders who have called for more corporate climate action, while some U.S. lawmakers have stepped up investigations into whether the industry is behaving deceptively.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles and Valerie Volcovici in Washington; editing by David Gregorio)

Read Complete News ➤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five + 3 =