Did Exxon Deceive Its Investors on Climate Change?

These lawsuits are an important step for society to free itself from the grasp of this lethal industry. Most directly, the suits can provide the billions necessary for communities to repair climate damages and fortify their infrastructure for the storms ahead. And if these cases are successful, Big Oil will finally be forced to assume a greater portion of the costs they have foisted on taxpayers. Their business, which significantly lagged the S & P 500 over the past five years, will take another deserved financial hit.

These cases are also teachable moments. We’re not in this mess because we heat our homes or drive our children to school, which is what the fossil fuel companies want us to think. We’re victims of a small group of gargantuan companies that recklessly and deliberately ignored the implications of their own science and unabashedly worked to deceive the public.

If you don’t believe me, then consider the words of the chief judge of the United States District Court in Rhode Island, William E. Smith, a George W. Bush appointee. In a procedural opinion in the state’s climate case against Exxon and other major oil and gas companies, Judge Smith wrote in July that those companies have “extracted, advertised, and sold a substantial percentage of the fossil fuels burned globally since the 1960s.” He continued:

This activity has released an immense amount of greenhouse gas into the Earth’s atmosphere, changing its climate and leading to all kinds of displacement....

Read More At The New York Times

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