Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

New York City sues 'polluting' Shell, BP and others

New York City sues 'polluting' Shell, BP and others

The de Blasio administration is suing some of the world's biggest oil companies to recoup the billions of dollars that New York City claims it must spend to protect New Yorkers from climate change.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced overnight they had filed a federal court lawsuit against five oil giants: Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

NY alleges the five major oil companies have played a role in global warming, the AP reported, and is seeking to recoup billions of dollars spent preparing for climate change.

Commenting on the action, Exxon Mobil said in a statement: "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions".

"Today Mayor de Blasio turned his back millions of first responders, police officers and public employees who depend on their pensions to provide for themselves and their families in retirement", said Karen Moreau of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest US oil and gas lobbying group.

The 67-page suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, says that the fossil fuels the companies produce are the primary cause of climate change and the firms "had full knowledge that fossil fuels would cause catastrophic harm" yet are "denying or downplaying those threats".

De Blasio claimed fossil fuel companies were complicit in worsening climate change because they knew of the problem decades ago but continued to sell a product to Americans that contributed to more greenhouse gas emissions.

- This post was updated at 12:25 P.M. EST.

There are about 190 fossil-fuel firms in which the pension funds are invested, and NYCERS and the Teachers Retirement System make up about two-thirds of those investments.

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The incident was widely reported by local media, and people across the country took to social media to condemn the crime. Kasur had earlier hit the headlines in 2015 when a gang of paedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the town.

Last year, California's Marin County, San Mateo County and the City of Imperial Beach similarly sued a group of fossil fuel companies over damages related to climate change - citing a theory called "public nuisance", which basically argues that companies are causing an injury to the localities under common law.

Later on Twitter, de Blasio added, "We are fighting for our lives and we will not wait for anyone else to do it for us".

ExxonMobil spokesman Scott Silvestri says the company has made good faith attempts to address climate change. Shell's spokesman echoed that sentiment.

"This city is standing up and saying, 'We're going to take our own actions to protect our own people, '" the mayor said at the press conference.

"Ironically, this attack on energy manufacturers comes at a time that New Yorkers have depended on natural gas and heating oil to carry them through the recent extreme cold", she said.

Philanthropies have included the Wallace Global Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, notable because the late John D. Rockefeller grew his wealth as an oil baron. "The mayor's announcement may raise his profile, but it will do nothing to address climate change and will ultimately fail".

Environmental leaders, like activist and author Naomi Klein, applauded the city's moves.

The court filing claims that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for almost two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution, with the five targeted companies the largest contributors.

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