New Jersey, on Tuesday, joined the expanding list of states and municipalities suing the world’s biggest oil companies and their trade associations for lying to the public about the role of their products in causing global climate change. The (surprisingly) profanity-free filing accused ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute of “systematically concealing and denying their knowledge that fossil fuel consumption could have a catastrophic impact on the climate,” which in turn exacerbated extreme weather, flooding, and sea level rise that harm New Jersey.
The suit is seeking damages for the loss of state wetlands, stating taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill to protect communities from climate-related impacts. State Attorney General Matthew Platkin told NorthJersey.com the lawsuit is similar to those brought by states against the tobacco and opioid industry — similarities the oil companies likely see as well. Big Oil CEOs studied tobacco executives’ testimonies to avoid perjuring themselves while testifying before Congress last year on their — alleged — deception of the public about the science of climate change. (The Guardian, AP, Bloomberg $, NorthJersey.com, News12 Long Island, Law 360 $)