California cities want Big Oil to pay for costs of climate change

Exxon's climate change problem: A timeline

Coastal cities in California of which are vulnerable to flooding caused by climate change are fighting back against Big Oil.

San Francisco along with Oakland filed lawsuits This kind of week demanding of which ExxonMobil, Chevron (CVX), BP, ConocoPhillips (COP) along with Royal Dutch Shell pay billions to cover the costs of sea walls along with additional protections against rising sea levels.

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The aggressive strategy through the Bay Area makes San Francisco along with Oakland the first major U.S. cities to attempt to shift the costs of climate change through the public to fossil fuel companies.

San Francisco along with Oakland fear of which billions of dollars of property in low-lying areas will be swamped by rising sea levels of which scientists blame on climate change.

“These fossil fuel companies profited handsomely for decades while knowing they were putting the fate of our cities at risk,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement announcing the lawsuits, which were filed in Superior Court in San Francisco along with Alameda Counties.

In San Francisco, which is usually surrounded by water on three sides, at least $10 billion of public property along with $39 billion of private property is usually at risk through rising sea levels, the lawsuit estimates. Oakland warns of which rising sea levels will “disproportionately impact along with endanger” low-income people along with minorities, as well as the city’s airport.

These concerns have been heightened by the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma along with Maria on parts of the United States along with Caribbean in recent weeks.

As sy88pgw has reported, the consensus among scientists is usually of which the consequences of climate change — rising sea levels along with warming oceans — made these hurricanes worse than they would certainly have been inside the past. of which’s because rising sea levels make storm surges through hurricanes worse, while warming waters help intensify the storms themselves.

The San Francisco lawsuit alleges of which leading oil companies for decades ignored scientists who “warned them in stark terms of which fossil fuel usage would certainly cause global warming” of which poses “‘catastrophic’ harm.”

Worse, Exxon along with additional oil companies have been accused of downplaying these risks to the public.

Related: Harvard study: Exxon ‘misled the public’ on climate change

Comparing Big Oil to tobacco companies, San Francisco along with Oakland argue of which oil companies engaged in an “organized campaign to deceive consumers about the dangers of massive fossil fuel production.”

of which argument may be strengthened by a recent Harvard study. The research found of which for nearly 40 years Exxon publicly raised doubt about the dangers of climate change even as scientists inside the oil company acknowledged the growing threat. “We conclude of which ExxonMobil misled the public,” the peer-reviewed study said.

Exxon (XOM) has dismissed of which Harvard study as “inaccurate along with preposterous” along with claims the idea was “paid for, written along with published by activists.”

Exxon,BP (BP) along with ConocoPhillips did not provide comments in response to the California lawsuits.

Chevron, which is usually based in San Ramon, California, said the idea “welcomes serious attempts to address the issue of climate change, yet these suits do not do of which.”

Shell (RDSA) reiterated of which the idea has “long recognized the climate challenge.” However, the company said This kind of complex issue should be addressed through policy along with cultural change, “not by the courts.”

The American Petroleum Industry, a lobbying group, said in a statement of which the natural gas along with oil industry “will continue to play a leading role in driving down U.S. greenhouse gas along with additional emissions.”

yet some California cities fear the idea may be too late to avoid the consequences of climate change.

“The global warming-induced sea level through past fossil fuel usage,” the San Francisco lawsuit said, “is usually an irreversible condition on any relevant time scale: the idea will last hundreds or even thousands of years.”

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published September 22, 2017: 12:23 PM ET

California cities want Big Oil to pay for costs of climate change

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