Maui County Filed Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies In 2020

Maui County filed a lawsuit in 2020 seeking damages from fossil fuel megacorps, stating, “Because of climate change, lush and verdant Maui was facing wildfires of “increased frequency, intensity, and destructive force.” Via The New York Times:

They appeared in a 2020 lawsuit filed by Maui County seeking damages from Exxon, Chevron and other giant oil and gas companies, accusing them of a “coordinated, multifront effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge” that the burning of fossil fuels would heat the planet to dangerous extremes.

Now, after wildfires driven by conditions linked to climate change have devastated the Hawaiian island, the lawsuit carries renewed heft.

The Maui fires “are clear and concrete evidence of something that otherwise might seem and feel abstract” that could “greatly strengthen” Maui’s case, said Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard who has written about climate change disinformation.

Oreskes reminds us that “for decades, the fossil fuel industry has worked to undermine scientific understanding of climate change and its damaging effects. One way they have done this, repeatedly, is by questioning the link between climate change, in general, and specific damaging consequences.”

And then, an oil lobbying firm proves her right:

Ryan Meyers, senior vice president and general counsel at the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry lobby group, called the Maui wildfires a tragedy, but stressed that their immediate cause was still under investigation.

He called the litigation brought by Maui part of a “coordinated campaign to wage meritless lawsuits against our industry,” and “nothing more than a distraction from important issues and an enormous waste of taxpayer resources.

Poor, poor fossil fuel companies. Why is everyone blaming them for the things scientists predicted would happen if they continued with business as usual?

Wahh! Wahh!

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