Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has sued fossil fuel companies ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and American Petroleum Institute (API) for deceiving, defrauding Minnesotans about climate change.
In the lawsuit filed by the AG in Ramsey County on behalf of the State and its residents, Minnesota AG seeks restitution for the harms Minnesotans have suffered, and asks the Court to require defendants to fund a corrective public education campaign on the issue of climate change, administered and controlled by an independent third party.
He has filed for claims against fraud, failure to warn, and multiple separate violations of Minnesota Statutes that prohibit consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and false statements in advertising.
Minnesota AG said ExxonMobil, API and three Koch Industries entities are accountable for perpetuating fraud against Minnesotans as well as harming Minnesotans’ health, and the state’s environment, infrastructure, and economy.
The lawsuit also detail some of the many impacts and costs that Minnesota has incurred and will incur as a result of climate change that has gone unchecked and unregulated because of the defendants’ 30-year campaign of deception.
The complaint states, “the parties who have profited from avoiding the consequences and costs of dealing with global warming and its physical, environmental, social, and economic consequences, bear the costs of those impacts, rather than Minnesota taxpayers, residents, or broader segments of the public.”
The complaint asks the court to require these companies to use wrongfully-obtained profits to help Minnesota pay for the devastating consequences of climate change.
Minnesota joins a growing number of governments that are seeking to hold companies responsible for harms associated with climate change. At least 15 other plaintiffs have brought similar lawsuits to date including from the states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, along with cities and counties across the country.
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