Two California cities are going after oil companies with a legal argument that recalls the legislation against big tobacco companies in the 1990s.
"The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing some of the world’s largest oil companies over climate change, joining an emerging legal effort to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damages wrought by rising seas," reports Kurtis Alexander.
Key to the lawsuits: that not only did oil companies release climate change-inducing emissions, they did so knowing the tremendous impacts the emissions would have on the planets.
"Both cities are asking the companies, which include Bay Area-based Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, to pay billions in compensation for past and future flooding, coastal erosion and property damage resulting from climate change," according to Alexander.
San Francisco and Oakland aren't the first California municipalities to sue entities representing the fossil fuel industry, though they are the most famous. In July, the counties of Marin and San Mateo, as well as the city of Imperial Beach, also sued along similar lines.
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