Los Angeles, CA – Late last night it was reported that California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the people of California against five of the world’s biggest oil companies: Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron. The purpose of the suit is reportedly to get Big Oil to pay for contributing to the climate crisis facing California.
Chirag Bhakta, Food & Water Watch California Director, offered the following statement, “We should be holding polluters accountable for poisoning our communities and putting our future’s at risk and we would like to commend our leaders like Governor Newsom for taking this first step.”
However this lawsuit will not immediately change or improve the lives of Californians and any payout from it could take years to materialize. Our climate is in serious risk right now: we don’t have time to wait. We must immediately rein in fossil fuels and rapidly transition to renewable energy.”
Unfortunately, while Governor Newsom has taken some steps to reduce drilling permits, he’s also embraced several policies that will extend our reliance on fossil fuels and other dirty energy. These include promoting dirty factory farm gas through the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard; embracing hydrogen, which is water and energy intensive; and championing carbon capture, which has a track record of failure and will extend the life of fossil fuel plants. His appointees on the State Water Resource Control board recently voted to allow three dirty gas power plants that were slated to be shut down in 2020 to continue operating until 2026. Further, the Public Utilities Commission just approved an expansion of gas storage at Aliso Canyon, site of the largest gas blowout in US history, despite Newsom’s repeated pledges to shut it down.”
While it’s good that California will be suing some of the biggest companies driving the climate crisis, we need to address the climate crisis now. That means stopping new fossil fuel permits, rejecting hydrogen and carbon capture, and rapidly moving off fossil fuels as we embrace a renewable energy future.”