In a statement released on Tuesday, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin accused Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM stock),Shell Oil Co. (SHEL stock), Chevron Corp. (CVX stock), BP Plc (BP), and ConocoPhillips (COP) of “systematically concealing and denying their knowledge that fossil fuel consumption could have a catastrophic impact on the climate.” This is believed to be the cause of sea level rise, flooding, and extreme weather that have plagued the state in recent years.
New Jersey has joined other states that are seeking to hold the oil and gas industry legally accountable for climate change by filing a lawsuit against the world’s five largest oil and gas producers. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants misled the general public about the impact that petroleum has on global warming.
According to Platkin, the defendants’ “awareness of the negative impacts of fossil fuel consumption almost exactly tracks the onset of the Great Acceleration.” This indicates that the defendants have known for more than 50 years that greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel products would have significant adverse impacts on the climate and sea levels of the Earth.
Casey Norton, a spokeswoman for Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), was quoted as saying in a statement that legal processes such as these “waste millions of dollars of public money and accomplish little to promote genuine initiatives that lessen the dangers of climate change.” “Exxon Mobil will continue to invest in initiatives to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while satisfying the rising demand for energy in society,”
Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., an attorney for Chevron, referred to the lawsuit as “not an attempt to discover a meaningful answer” and termed it a “distraction from the serious problem of global climate change.” “Chevron believes that the accusations stated are legally and factually meritless, and we will establish that in court,” he said in a statement about the company’s position on the matter. “In the meanwhile, Chevron will continue engaging with other stakeholders in the public and commercial sectors to design viable solutions to the problem of global climate change.”
Shell stated in a statement that “addressing an issue as huge as climate change demands a truly collaborative, society-wide approach.” [Citation needed] It went on to say, “We do not believe the courtroom is the right venue to address climate change. Rather, we believe that smart policy from the government, supported by action from all business sectors, including ours, and from civil society, is the appropriate way to reach solutions and drive progress.”
BP and ConocoPhillips both said they had no comment.
In the case that was submitted on Tuesday in the state court located in Trenton, the American Petroleum Institute, which is a trade organization, was also listed as a defendant.
“The record of the past two decades demonstrates that the industry has achieved its goal of providing affordable and reliable American energy to US consumers,” the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in a statement. “At the same time, we have substantially reduced emissions and our environmental footprint.” “Any claim that this is not the case is untrue.”
Combat in the Courts (NJ Vs Exxon) – XOM stock price could be affected
The case being brought by New Jersey is comparable to those brought by more than a half dozen other states, beginning with New York, which sued Exxon Mobil in 2018 for deceiving its shareholders regarding the company’s use of a “proxy cost” for carbon in its internal accounting to prepare for future climate change regulations but was unsuccessful at trial. New York’s lawsuit alleged that the company had lied to shareholders about its use of the proxy cost in order to prepare for the regulations. There have been lawsuits brought by other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, and these cases are still being considered.
The energy giant Exxon Mobil was unsuccessful in its attempt in March to resurrect a lawsuit that it had filed in 2016 alleging that the Democratic attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts were motivated by politics when they opened investigations into the company’s statements to investors about climate change.
The lawsuit is known as Platkin v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, MER-L-001797-22, and it is being heard in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Mercer County.
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