Daily Management Review

Exxon Mobil Corp, API and Koch Industries Face Minnesota Lawsuit


Minnesota state charges oil companies as guilty of conducting deceitful global warming campaign to keep the public in the dark.

Last week, Minnesota state has filed a case of lawsuit against three companies, namely Exxon Mobil Corp, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute. The charges were made for carrying out campaigns over ten years for deceiving the “public about climate change”.
This only adds up to the list of earlier series of legal cases filed by “states, cities, and citizen groups” against fossil fuel companies for not playing their part in the phenomenon of global warming. In fact, the API which happens to the “main oil and gas industry lobby group” in the country to be the first in the line of the accused to be defending the campaign.
While the Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison informed that the state thinks that “API, Exxon and Koch” were violating the laws against “consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising”. The charges also indicate that the industry lobby along with the companies mentioned strategically fooled people about climate change in their business interest. Furthermore, there are also  accusations of a collaborated “multi-pronged campaign of deception” which continued for the past three decades. In the words of Ellison:
“The fraud, deceptive advertising, and other violations of Minnesota state law and common law that the lawsuit shows they perpetrated have harmed Minnesotans’ health and our state’s environment, infrastructure, and economy”.
The Ellison also informed that one district court of Minnesota has been asked by the state to make the defendants pay for an “education campaign on climate change” besides bearing other damage costs of global warming. While, the spokesperson of Exxon, Casey Norton, found the said lawsuit to be “part of a coordinated, politically motivated campaign against energy companies.”
Although API did make any direct comment on the lawsuit but it added that the oil sector had been attempting to offer “affordable, reliable energy to U.S. consumers while substantially reducing emissions and our environmental footprint.” And the chief legal officer of API, Paul Afonso said:
“Any suggestion to the contrary is false”.
API had come out with an ad campaign in January which promoted the work of “natural gas” which is bringing down the emissions levels. However, no immediate response was received from Koch. Furthermore, Reuters also reported:
“At least 15 other plaintiffs, including states, cities and youth and citizen groups, have filed similar lawsuits against the oil and gas industry, including Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island”.