“This is a Big Big Deal”: Climate Leaders Praise California’s Lawsuit to Hold Big Oil Accountable
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NEW YORK –  After Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that California is suing Big Oil for more than 50 years of deception, cover-up, and damage, climate leaders across the country have shared their support.

"The fifth-largest economy on earth is suing the five biggest oil companies for their climate lies.

This is a big big deal."

Bill McKibben, environmentalist and founder, 350.org

Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director in the Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists: "California's suit adds to the growing momentum to hold Big Oil accountable for its decades of deception, and secure access to justice for people and communities suffering from fossil-fueled extreme weather and slow onset disasters such as sea level rise. As movements to reverse the tobacco and opioid epidemics have demonstrated, litigation is a powerful tool that can and should be used to hold bad actors accountable and to protect people and the planet over corporate profits."

Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute: "With this historic lawsuit, Gov. Newsom and Attorney General Bonta are providing the climate leadership the world so desperately needs."

Brandon Dawson, Sierra Club California Director: "Holding Big Oil accountable for their decades-long deception is necessary and crucial to protect California communities from the effects of the climate crisis. By bringing this lawsuit, Governor Newsom and Attorney General Bonta are cementing California as a leader in the fight against climate change and Sierra Club California applauds these efforts."

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"California's case is the most significant, decisive, and powerful climate action directed against the oil and gas industry in U.S. history."

Richard Wiles, President of the Center for Climate Integrity

Rebecca Solnit, writer, historian, author: "There is so much climate news this Climate Week. Some of it feels personal for me. Proud to be a Californian when it comes to this."

Jane Fonda, actress, author, activist: "THIS IS HUGE: California joins movement to sue Big Oil to #MakePollutersPay for their climate crimes. This suit is a watershed moment to hold polluters accountable. TY @CAGovernor @GavinNewsom for your leadership to hold polluters accountable."

David Weiskopf, Senior Policy Advisor, NextGen Policy: "This is a big deal. The oil industry is the most profitable enterprise in human history, and their profits have come at the expense of every person and other living thing on our planet. For too long, governments have subsidized, rather than worked to limit the damage done by these multi-billion dollar corporations. Today, the state of California is standing up for the legal rights of its residents. We thank the Attorney General and the Governor for bringing this lawsuit, and we hope that every state will follow suit. It is vital that all parts of our government work together to usher in an era of equitable clean transportation and that means aligning all public spending with our state's climate goals and with the substance of this lawsuit. Oil companies have been harming the public for far too long – it is way past time to take every reasonable action to hold them accountable."

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"You know what, sometimes I'm just damn proud of my home state. On the heels of some major legislative moves this week, California just filed a freakin' monster of a climate case."

Amy Westervelt, investigative journalist

Jamie Court, President, Consumer Watchdog: "California is again leading the way in forcing oil companies to be accountable and pay for the substantial damage they have caused to the earth, taxpayers and consumers. Governor Newsom has led the nation in pioneering penalties for oil companies for their price gouging, and now he is working to make sure Californians are paid back for the devastation to our environment, health, and safety that oil companies have intentionally wrought."

Laura Deehan, State Director, Environment California: "Governor Newsom and AG Bonta are showing some guts by taking on the biggest oil companies. For decades, we have tried to alert the public to the threats of our growing dependence on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, as alleged in this lawsuit, the oil companies have downplayed, or outright lied about, the risks of burning fossil fuels. Any company that lies about or obscures the public safety or environmental risks of their products should be held accountable."

Jamie Henn, Director, Fossil Free Media: "California just kicked open the door for every city and state in America to sue the fossil fuel industry for climate damages. After this summer of brutal heat waves and climate disasters, I think the public is hungry for a way to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damage they've done. Big Oil knew, they lied, and now it's time to make them pay."

Filed Under: Government, State

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