In lawsuit, California accuses oil companies of lying about climate change

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California filed a lawsuit Friday against five of the world's largest oil companies, alleging that they lied to the public about the damage their product is causing. The state wants the companies to pay into a fund that would support recovery from climate change-related extreme weather events like heavy storms and wildfires.

have filed similar lawsuits against oil and gas corporations, accusing them of lying to the public about climate change, but California is by far the largest.In August, the U.S. Supreme Court

to force lawsuits brought by local governments to move to federal courts, meaning that they won't be able to stop California from trying this case in state court, which is widely perceived as more plaintiff-friendly.Fossil fuel companies say that since everyone uses their products, they alone shouldn’t be blamed for climate change.the lawsuit has"no constructive or constitutionally permissible role" in energy policy.

“Climate change is a global problem that requires a coordinated international policy response, not piecemeal litigation for the benefit of lawyers and politicians,” the company’s statement added.If California wins, other states are likely to follow suit in order to try to secure compensation for the growing costs of climate change.

“California is a bellwether for US environmental action,” Geoffrey Supran, director of the University of Miami's Climate Accountability Lab, said in a statement. “Momentum has been building for several years behind lawsuits seeking to hold Big Oil accountable for its decades of climate deception and damages, and now that the fifth largest economy in the world has waded in, the floodgates are truly open.

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