Hoboken files suit against Exxon, other oil companies, for damages caused by climate change

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The City of Hoboken has filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil and other major oil companies for damages caused by climate change, officials said this morning.

Hoboken files suit against Exxon, other oil companies, for damages caused by climate change

"We cannot stand idly by and allow Big Oil to continue profiting at the expense of Hoboken residents." Vid credit: City of Hoboken. FULL STORY: https://hudsoncountyview.com/hoboken-files-suit-against-exxon-other-oil-companies-for-damages-caused-by-climate-change/

Posted by Hudson County View on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

“As a coastal community, Hoboken has directly felt the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and more frequent storms,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said at a press conference.

“At the same time we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars adapting to the realities of climate change, Big Oil companies have engaged in a decades-long campaign of misinformation that has contributed to global warming which has disproportionately impacted our residents. We cannot stand idly by and allow Big Oil to continue profiting at the expense of Hoboken residents. It’s time these companies pay their fair share and be held accountable for their actions.”

Hoboken joins at least 19 other cities, states and counties across the country, marking the first in New Jersey, to allege that Big Oil companies have engaged in repeated deception over a span of decades that has resulted in adverse impacts of climate change.

Officials said today that the litigation would not be at expense to the city or its taxpayers.

The 146-page suit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court, contends that the defendants named – Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips – have contributed to a full 12 percent of the total carbon added to the atmosphere since 1965.

Additionally, the court filing alleges that the defendants knew their marketing, production, and sale of fossil fuels would lead to climate change, with one example being a 1968 study by the American Petroleum Institute – who are also named in the complaint.

Specifically related to Hoboken, the civil action says climate change and rising sea levels have caused the city to spend roughly $140 million in the past decade on preventative measures such as flood pumps, resiliency parks, and underground flood storage.

The mayor also argues that there is “a racial justice” component to the alleges misinformation campaigns of the Big Oil companies.

“Rising sea levels and more frequent storms have an outsized impact on low-income communities and communities of color, and we must do everything we can to address this trend,” he also said.

“Our communities should not have to worry about rain storms impacting their daily lives, let alone a Superstorm that threatens the future of our city,” added LaTrenda Ross, a former co-chair of the Hoboken Rebuild by Design Community Advisory Group, as well as an ex-commissioner of the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Additionally, environmental groups predictably spoke out in favor of Hoboken’s plans to hold Big Oil accountable.

“The fossil fuel industry has been deliberately misleading the public and withholding information on their impact on climate change and the risks involved,” stated New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

“It is critical that Hoboken is stepping up, especially now when hurricanes, wildfires, and more are getting worse and severe impacts are becoming more expensive.”

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