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Democrat-led city sues oil companies for causing climate change

via NBC
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The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against major oil and gas companies and an industry association, accusing them of deceiving consumers about climate dangers linked to fossil fuels.

Chicago seeks compensation for damages caused by global warming, including extreme weather events.

“There is no justice without accountability,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson stated.

“From the unprecedented poor air quality that we experienced last summer to the basement floodings that our residents on the West Side experienced, the consequences of this crisis are severe, as are the costs of surviving them. That is why we are seeking to hold these defendants accountable.”

The lawsuit targets companies like BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, seeking financial penalties and restrictions on their practices.

“Evidence shows that these defendants intentionally misled Chicago residents about the climate change-related dangers associated with their oil and gas products. If unabated, climate change could result in catastrophic impacts on our city,” added Chicago counsel Mary Richardson-Lowry. “We bring this lawsuit to ensure that the defendants who have profited from the deception campaign bear responsibility for their conduct.”

The accused companies argue that climate policy should be determined by legislation, not individual lawsuits.

The lawsuit by Chicago is part of a broader trend of cities and states holding oil companies accountable for climate change impacts, with legal representation from Sher Edling, a law firm specializing in climate-related litigation.

“The record of the past two decades demonstrates that the industry has achieved its goal of providing affordable, reliable American energy to U.S. consumers while substantially reducing emissions and our environmental footprint,” API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers said.

“This ongoing, coordinated campaign to wage meritless, politicized lawsuits against a foundational American industry and its workers is nothing more than a distraction from important national conversations and an enormous waste of taxpayer resources,” Meyers said. “Climate policy is for Congress to debate and decide, not a patchwork of city halls and courts.”

“Addressing climate change requires a coordinated international policy response, not meritless local litigation over lawful and essential energy production,” Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher partner Theodore Boutrous said. “As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in dismissing a similar New York City lawsuit, ‘such a sprawling case is simply beyond the limits of state law.’”

“Big Oil has lied to the American people for decades about the catastrophic climate risks of their products, and now Chicago and communities across the country are rightfully insisting they pay for the damage they’ve caused,” Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles said.

“With Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, joining the fray, there is no doubt that we are witnessing a historic wave of lawsuits that could finally hold Big Oil accountable for the climate crisis they knowingly caused.”

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