Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

City dumping investments in fossil fuels, suing 5 big oil companies

City dumping investments in fossil fuels, suing 5 big oil companies

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a federal lawsuit against the five biggest oil companies in the USA for their role in climate change and global warming that led to Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked havoc on the city.

Climate change is going to cost the U.S. billions of dollars because of extreme weather, health problems, and more - and New York City wants fossil fuel companies to help pay for it. The city has already begun to help its residents recover from past (Hurricane Sandy) and future climate change issues by implementing a $20 billion-plus resiliency program. Shares of Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips were down slightly, while Chevron and BP shares were up slightly.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and other trustees of New York City's $189 billion pension funds on Wednesday announced a goal to divest city funds from fossil fuels within five years.

New York City is the latest - and largest - U.S. city to sue five big oil companies for billions in damages from the impacts of climate change, such as rising seas and extreme weather.

The city's statement references the industry's deliberate misinformation campaign to cover up the effects of fossil fuels.

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The New York City government is also SUING the world's five largest publicly traded oil companies, the Washington Post reports. "Similar to recent lawsuits in California, this headline-seeking stunt is an absurd attempt to politicize natural disasters, rather than a good-faith effort at securing meaningful change".

"De Blasio is showing where his priorities really are by choosing to make his announcement flanked by controversial environmental activists".

In his victory speech the night after his reelection, Mr.de Blasio claimed his having won 66 percent of the votes cast gave him a mandate to make NY the "fairest big city in America".

Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, said, "We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to produce affordable housing at unprecedented levels".

"We believe the risk of climate change is real and we are committed to being part of the solution". The Guardian also reported that two California counties are suing 37 fossil fuel companies for their alleged involvement in emitting greenhouse gases.

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This is in addition to separate legal action by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to hold the industry accountable for misleading the public about climate change.

Exxon Mobil responded to the news of the lawsuit in a blog, arguing that court cases aren't the best way to stop climate change.

A day before New York's announcement, Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, gave his annual address on the state of the oil industry, and there was a noticeable shift in the message when it came to climate change.

Bill McKibben, an author and co-founder of climate advocacy group 350.org, praised the city's actions on Wednesday.

More recently, he announced plans to divest the city's pension funds from fossil fuel companies over the next five years. The company also told investors in November that it will cut the net carbon footprint of its oil and gas products around the world roughly in half by 2050.

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The state of NY is suing Exxon Mobil, maintaining the company deceived investors by withholding information about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

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