Climate Crisis AM Edition 2/21/24 Major Lawsuits Against Big Oil

Naomi Shi Pexels

Chicago joined California by suing fossil fuel companies for misleading the public about the effects of their business activities and the damage they have done to the climate. Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that the City of Chicago sued BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute in Cook County Circuit Court. As the suit was filed, he said, “From the unprecedented poor air quality that we experienced last summer to the basement floodings that our residents on the West Side experienced, the consequences of this crisis are severe, as are the costs of surviving them. That is why we are seeking to hold these Defendants accountable.” This lawsuit is the tip of an iceberg as more and more governments sue fossil fuel companies over the damage they have done. It has started to take the path that lawsuits filed against Big Tobacco a generation ago. These suits cost the tobacco companies billions of dollars.

Massive DamageFire In Canadian Forests

Pollution LocationMost Polluted City In The World

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a statement in Pediatrics with recommendations to help mitigate the effects of climate change on child health. According to Medical Express, “The authors recommend that climate change counseling be incorporated into clinical practice. Climate risks should be assessed and solutions recommended when screening for and addressing social determinants of health.” This is another in a series of warnings that show how climate change affects humans beyond their physical health. Mental health professionals need to treat anxiety and other medical conditions brought on by climate change. The authors wrote that government policy and corporate action are needed to lessen these effects. 

Maryland Attacks Oil Companies

Maryland became another government that wants to get money from fossil fuel companies to fund “climate change mitigation.” A new piece of legislation in Maryland aims to get $9 billion from companies for this purpose. A new bill creates the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Payment Program and the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Fund within the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Authors of the bill said the pace at which the money is collected is “unclear.” The authors also wrote, “The primary purpose of the program is to secure compensatory payments from fossil fuel businesses based on a standard of strict liability to provide a source of revenue for State efforts to (1) adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change and (2) address the health impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations.’ The legislation is similar to a plan announced by Chicago recently, and more and more state and city governments are trying to collect money from fossil fuel companies for the harmful effects of their business activities on the climate.

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