Five of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers were sued by New Jersey for allegedly deceiving the public about the impact of petroleum on global warming, joining other states that are seeking to hold the industry legally accountable for climate change.

Exxon Mobil Corp.Shell Oil Co.Chevron Corp.BP Plc and ConocoPhillips are accused of “systematically concealing and denying their knowledge that fossil fuel consumption could have a catastrophic impact on the climate,” leading to sea rise, flooding and extreme weather that have battered the state, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said Tuesday in a statement.

Their “awareness of the negative impacts of fossil fuel consumption almost exactly tracks the onset of the Great Acceleration — meaning that defendants have known for more than 50 years that greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel products would have significant adverse impacts on the Earth’s climate and sea levels,” Platkin said.

“Legal proceedings like this waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money and do nothing to advance meaningful actions that reduce the risks of climate change,” Exxon Mobil spokesperson Casey Norton said in a statement. “Exxon Mobil will continue to invest in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting society’s growing demand for energy.”


A lawyer for Chevron, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., called the suit a “distraction from the serious problem of global climate change, not an attempt to find a real solution. “Chevron believes that the claims asserted are legally and factually meritless, and will demonstrate that in court,” he said in a statement. “In the meantime, Chevron will continue working with other stakeholders in the public and private sectors to craft real solutions to global climate change.”

Extracted in full from: Exxon, Shell and Chevron Sued by New Jersey Over Climate Change (XOM, CVX) – Bloomberg