Jun 26, 2020 News
By Kiana Wilburg
ExxonMobil, along with other major fossil fuel polluters such as Chevron, Shell and British Petroleum, was slapped yesterday with a lawsuit by the Attorney General of Washington D.C, Karl A. Racine, for engaging in a massive campaign of deception on climate change. The details of the court action note, among other things, that the four companies “systematically and intentionally” misled consumers in Washington, DC about the central role their products play in causing global warming so that they can continue to rake in billion dollar profits. The Attorney General is of the firm belief that had the oil companies revealed what they knew since the 1950s about climate change, consumers’ appetite for crude would have declined.
Going back more than half a century—long before “global warming” was a common household term—the Office of the Attorney General said (OAG) that the defendants knew “with astonishing accuracy” that their crude oil, natural gas, and related hydrocarbon products , releases greenhouse gases which in turn, increases the temperature of the earth.
Expounding further, the OAG said that scientists who were working for the oil companies or their industry trade associations predicted with precision, when global temperature rises would occur and by how much. They also predicted the catastrophic harm that would result. The Attorney General’s Office pointed to a 1968 report that was paid for by the American Petroleum Institute (“API”) — the leading industry trade group at the time was funded and controlled by the defendants. The report projected that atmospheric carbon dioxide (“CO2”) concentrations would rise from 280 to 370 parts per million (“ppm”) by 2000. Years later, this was proven to be true with actual concentrations in 2000 at 369 ppm. It was further noted that by 1982, Exxon’s scientists in particular, predicted that atmospheric carbon dioxide would reach nearly 415 ppm by 2019. This also proved true for on May 11, 2019, atmospheric CO2 surpassed 415 ppm. This was Earth’s highest level in three million years.
The OAG categorically stated that ExxonMobil and the other oil companies are fully aware that the effects of a warming planet from massive fossil fuel combustion include, but are not limited to: increased sea levels; increased ocean temperature and acidity; extreme weather including heat and drought, as well as extreme precipitation events, wildfires, flooding, and more frequent, longer-lasting, and more severe storms.
These events threaten human health, food security, agriculture, economic productivity, water supplies, national security, and labour productivity. The effects of climate change also damage public infrastructure and social systems, and exacerbate economic inequality. Furthermore, a warmer planet poses a significantly increased risk for biodiversity, species loss and extinction, and ecosystem impacts, as well as enormous economic injuries and losses on individuals, communities, and public and private institutions.
The Attorney General’s Office was keen to reiterate that the defendants knew all of the foregoing. They knew that these increases in greenhouse gas concentrations would increase global temperatures, which would in turn wreak havoc on the planet, resulting in severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.
But instead of sharing what it was acutely aware of, the OAG stated that ExxonMobil and its counterparts hid the information and choose to deceive the public about the threat of global warming.
The Office of the Attorney General said, “…Rather than telling customers the truth about their products, Defendants have and continue to place profits over people by misleading consumers about the realities of climate change, the significant detrimental impacts of their fossil fuel products, and their commitment to renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions…”
The OAG stressed that the defendants’ deceptive and unfair conduct violates Washington D.C’s rules and regulations and stressed that they must be stopped. The district of Washington D.C is therefore seeking injunctive relief, civil penalties, and costs to deter ExxonMobil and other oil majors from continuing to engage in these and similar unlawful trade practices. It is also going after restitution for DC consumers.
To be continued …
Jagdeo will make ayo sell ayo bodies to feed ya’ll pickney.
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