Two Bay Area counties sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but failed to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution.
The lawsuit was part of a coordinated litigation attack by Marin, San Mateo County and the city of Imperial Beach.
The lawsuit, filed in Marin County Superior Court, alleges that “major corporate members of the fossil fuel industry, have known for nearly a half century that unrestricted production and use of their fossil fuel products create greenhouse gas pollution that warms the planet and changes our climate.”
The suit goes on to say that even though the fossil fuel companies knew there was a narrow window to take action before consequences would be irreversible, they engaged in a “coordinated, multi-front effort” to “discredit the growing body of publicly available scientific evidence and persistently create doubt.”
The suit asserts that the fossil fuel companies “have promoted and profited from a massive increase in the extraction and consumption of oil, coal and natural gas, which has in turn caused an enormous, foreseeable, and avoidable increase in global greenhouse gas pollution.”
And the suit states that this greenhouse gas pollution has “substantially contributed to a wide-range of dire climate-related effects including global warming, rising atmospheric and ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, melting polar ice caps and glaciers, more extreme and volatile weather and sea level rise.”
The defendants named in the suit include San Ramon-based Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell.
Melissa Ritchie, a spokeswoman for…
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