Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Dr. Willie Soon; As Baltimore’s mis-marketing case against big oil continues, Big Oil could be about to pay a heavy price for their inconsistent positioning of climate narratives.
Lawsuit alleging oil companies misled the public about climate change to go ahead
January 25, 20224: 55 PM ET REBECCA HERSHER
A federal appeals court in Virginia heard a landmark case Tuesday that sought to hold major fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in climate change. The court’s decision in this case will have implications for a range of similar cases brought by cities, counties and states around the country.
Supreme Court is considered The question of jurisdiction in the Baltimore case last year, and the decision that a federal appeals court should decide where to hear the Baltimore case, paved the way for arguments today before a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals. fourth round of judgement.
In his statement on behalf of the oil and gas companies, attorney Kannon Shanmugam argued that the state court was the wrong venue for the lawsuit because climate change is global in scope and is regulated by the federal government. and international agreements.
Karen Sokol, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who studies climate liability cases, says that argument doesn’t work, because the allegations against the companies are based. state law to protect the public from misleading marketing.
Baltimore is asking state courts to look into what Sokol calls a “permanent, systematic deceptive marketing campaign designed to mask the catastrophic dangers” of fossil fuels. Consumer protection lawsuits, including landmark cases involving tobacco companies’ business misinformation campaigns, have previously been heard in state court state.
I’m no legal expert, but the problem seems to be that oil companies have admitted their products cause dangerous climate change. Instead of aggressively continuing to challenge alarmist stories, they mostly play soft and try to be everyone’s friend.
Now there is a real danger that the words of the oil company could be used to hang them. Plaintiff has many documents to quote, such as public statements of oil companies stating that they support the Paris Agreement would be opposed to historical claims and public campaigns that seem to downplay the alleged climate crisis and old internal documents such as Glasser .’s 1982 Memorandum, in which oil company scientists made alarming claims about climate change.
Oil companies are begging that if they lose, it could threaten US energy security. But Baltimore has a serious debt crisisand Baltimore politicians just gave themselves a raise, so I guess other people’s financial problems aren’t their top priority.
If the oil companies had stood up to climate bullies and their fragile science from the start, instead of trying to solve the situation by being everyone’s friend, they might have Don’t fall into this mess.
The oil companies can claim they are sincerely opposed to the climate stories, but have realized their mistake and changed their mind, but if they do, they will need some argument. convince them why they think they can ignore internal warnings like Glasser .’s 1982 Memorandum. With that said, my reading is that Glasser is not a clear warning that climate change is a problem.
The oil companies haven’t lost yet, but in my opinion their mistakes and misguided PR actions could have created a real problem for them, and a significant risk of serious financial loss. .