The New Jersey Attorney General today announced a new lawsuit aiming to hold Big Oil accountable for deceiving the public about their role in the climate change crisis.
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and the Department of Environmental Protection filed the lawsuit on behalf of residents in New Jersey against five oil and gas companies and the American Petroleum Institute. With today’s announcement, New Jersey joins more than two dozen cities, counties and states across the United States that are suing major fossil fuel companies over devastating climate impacts and concerted campaigns to spread disinformation about climate science and the harmful effects of their products.
Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, the accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):
“The lawsuit by New Jersey adds to growing momentum to hold Big Oil accountable for its decades of deception and harm. It’s hopeful to hear a growing chorus of public officials seeking justice through the courts and demanding that fossil fuel companies pay for the outsize role they’ve played in climate change and the suffering of communities. As the tobacco control movement has demonstrated, litigation is a powerful tool that can and should be used to hold bad actors accountable and protect people and the planet over profit.
“From extreme events like Superstorm Sandy worsened by sea level rise to dangerous heatwaves and wildfires, the consequences of egregious misconduct by BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, and other fossil fuel corporations are felt intimately by people across the country, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities and communities of color. Through our science and advocacy, the Union of Concerned Scientists will continue working hard to halt greenwashing campaigns by fossil fuel corporations, their trade associations and other enablers and to advance the rapid transition to clean energy sources that promote a healthier and safer future for people and the planet.”