Burnett: California, New York City Target Oil Giants With Climate Lawsuits

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by H. Sterling Burnett
Heartland

New York City, San Francisco, and Oakland have filed lawsuits against the five largest private oil companies—BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—claiming they are contributing to destructive climate change…New York City’s lawsuit comes just a few months after several cities in California, including San Francisco and Oakland, filed similar litigation against the same companies…

Attorney and biostatistician Steve Milloy…says New York’s lawsuit against oil companies is either fraudulent or frivolous.

“In a $200,000,000 bond New York City offered on September 26, 2017, the city disclosed nothing to its bond buyers about the risk of climate change—the word ‘climate’ does not even appear in the Memorandum of Offering,” Milloy said. “This is hypocritical if not fraudulent, since New York’s Exxon lawsuit claims climate damages will cost the city ‘many billions of dollars and far exceed the city’s resources.’

“It seems climate change is important to New York City when it is trying to shake down Big Oil, but not when they are trying to shake down investors,” said Milloy. “If New York City hasn’t committed securities fraud by failing to disclose material facts, in this case the risks of climate change, then they have filed a frivolous lawsuit. There is no third alternative.”

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