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New Jersey sues gas companies over climate change damages worth billions

Lawsuit targets ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips.

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Enlarge (credit: Serhej Calka | iStock / Getty Images Plus)

This week, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced he had surveyed the state’s extreme weather damage caused by climate change and decided that it shouldn’t be residents or even the state shouldering “the enormous costs of rebuilding.”

Filing a lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Platkin—joined by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection—suggested that this burden should belong to oil and gas companies. These companies, Platkin alleged in a press release, “knowingly made false claims to deceive the public about the existence of climate change and the degree to which their fossil fuels products have been [exacerbating] anthropogenic global warming.”

Platkin’s lawsuit targets five major global oil and gas companies—ExxonMobil Corp., Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp., BP Plc, and ConocoPhillips—and the trade group that all those companies belong to, the American Petroleum Institute (API). It’s similar, Platkin said in his press release, to lawsuits still pending in other states, including Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont.

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