California is Suing The World’s Leading Industry for Spreading “Lies and Mistruths” to the American People

By: Lauren | Published: Dec 06, 2023

The state of California is fighting back against Big Oil and has drafted a lawsuit to sue several companies it claims have lied to the American people for decades. 

In addition to lying, these big companies are responsible for billions of dollars worth of damage to the state and the people of California, and they need to pay up.

California Is Working Tirelessly to Save the Planet

While most states across the country have policies and plans in place to cut down on fossil fuels and create more clean energy, California is certainly leading the pack. 

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Illustration of a hand holding a small house with a windmill, solar panels, and clear “clean energy” use

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It has promised its residents 100% renewable energy by the year 2045, and has spent billions of dollars to make that happen. 

California Wants Big Oil to Own Up to Its Mistakes

But along with its plan to change the way California uses energy in the future, it won’t just let Big Oil get away with the harm it has caused in the past. 

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San Francisco City Hall building

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom explained, “California is suing these big polluters to hold them accountable for their decades of deception, cover-up, and billions of dollars in harm done to our state.”

The Lawsuit Is Going after the Big Names

In the lawsuit, Gov. Newsom and the state have specifically named huge companies such as Exxonmobil, BP, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute. 

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Exxonmobil red logo on a white background

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It says that Big Oil deception has caused “Wildfires wiping out entire communities, toxic smoke clogging our air, deadly heat waves, record-breaking droughts parching our wells.”

California Wildfires Are Literally Out of Control

And it’s true that wildfires in California have seriously wiped out entire towns and are a huge problem for the state. 

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Wildfire spreading toward the road with one loan car sitting still

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In fact, just this year, California has experienced 5,741 wildfires that have burned more than 305,000 acres of land. 

Flooding Is also Rampant in Cali

In addition to wildfires, the people of California saw their first tropical storm since 1939 this year, which resulted in record breaking rainfall throughout the southern region. 

Aerial photo of intense flooding in Salinas, California

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Extensive rain has also led to flooding, and over 200,000 California homes have been damaged by water just this year.

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Let’s Not Forget about the Incredible Heat

As the Earth gets hotter, so does California – a state that is known for temperate, or even warm weather, has seen some of its hottest days on record this year.

Cityscape in California with the sun setting depicting hot temperatures

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Rising temperatures not only cause the extreme weather, but also can be quite dangerous for residents, pets, and even wildlife. 

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Gov. Gavin Newsom Doesn’t Just Want to Place Blame, He Wants Compensation

While Gov. Newsom and the state of California absolutely want Big Oil to admit the lies and harm they’ve spread, they also want them to pay up and compensate the citizens of California for their mistakes.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in San Francisco

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

He said, “California taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill. California is taking action to hold big polluters accountable.”

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Attorney General Rob Bonta Is Leading the Charge

While Gov. Newsom has a lot to say on the matter, it’s state Attorney General Rob Bonta who is fighting the case in court.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks during a news conference in San Francisco

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

He told the press, “Enough is enough,” and continued, “Oil and gas companies have privately known the truth for decades — that the burning of fossil fuels leads to climate change — but have fed us lies and mistruths to further their record-breaking profits at the expense of our environment.”

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For Years, People Have Blamed Big Oil for Climate Change

It’s important to note that while California is taking action, they are not the only ones who blame the oil industry for the climate change problem. 

An oil tanker overturned in the sea, resulting in an oil spill

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For years, people around the country and the world have known that fossil fuels, greenhouse emissions, oil spills, and a wide variety of other aspects of the oil industry were causing irrefutable damage to the planet.

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Big Oil Is in Trouble, No Matter What

Even without this lawsuit looming, with the world turning toward more sustainable energy sources, Big Oil will see a serious downturn in profits in the near future. 

Sunset behind several offshore oil drills

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It will no longer be a leading industry, and some hope it will have to shut down the majority of its offshore drilling sites any day now.

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What’s Next for California?

The state and people of California are certainly hoping for a win in court against the big name oil companies, though as there has never been a lawsuit like it before, one can only guess what will happen next. 

Silhouettes of palm trees as the sun sets in California

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Fortunately, no matter what happens, California will continue to dedicate its time, money and resources to clean, green energy to save not only their beautiful state, but the world as a whole.

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