Chicago Blames, Sues Oil Companies Over Climate Change

( – The city of Chicago is using precious public resources to sue six large oil companies and a lobbying firm for the industry, claiming that they’ve engaged in a “campaign of climate denial” which has directly harmed Chicago residents.

The lawsuit alleges that Chevron, British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Phillips 66, as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API) of deceptively describing the impact of their products on the climate and the city of Chicago.

The suit blames the companies for hot summers, extreme weather, erosion of beaches which contributes to flooding. The city’s suit said they’ve spent nearly $200 million on projects related to “climate response projects” around the city.

The complaint also accused API of promoting “climate disinformation” by suggesting they’ve used authoritative sources to present lies to the public.

API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers issued a statement to The Hill in response to the lawsuit. Meyers said that the industry provides “affordable, reliable American energy” to customers while limiting its emissions and impact on the environment.

Meyers additionally claimed the lawsuit was part of an “ongoing, coordinated campaign” to weaponize the legal system and advance “meritless lawsuits.” He called the effort “a distraction” and said that national environmental policy should be left up to Congress and the federal government.

Shell’s statement to The Hill said they support “action” on climate change and a “lower-carbon future” and added that they’re continuing to reduce emissions and encourage customers to do the same. They said that society-wide change is required, and no individual court ruling or lawsuit will be able to bring that about.

Chevron’s counsel, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., echoed the previous responses from the industry suggesting that “coordinated international policy” is the proper response, not “meritless local litigation,” over what is essentially a completely legal and vital industry in America. He also highlighted that the U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed a similar lawsuit from New York City in 2018.

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