September 15, 2023

California is suing ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and the American Petroleum Institute to make them pay for lying to the public for decades about their fossil fuel products’ central role in the climate crisis. 

The lawsuit, filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, points to the companies’ well-documented history of climate deception and seeks to make them pay into an abatement fund that would be used to fund climate adaptation projects across the state. 

California is now the world’s largest economy and the first major oil producing state to take fossil fuel companies to court for their climate deception. Bonta is the ninth attorney general in the United States to sue Big Oil companies for fraud or climate damages.

The statewide lawsuit comes after eight California municipalities — San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Richmond, Imperial Beach, and the counties of San Mateo, San Marin, and Santa Cruz — filed some of the nation’s first-ever climate lawsuits against fossil fuel companies in 2017 and 2018. California’s lawsuit makes clear that those communities’ legal claims are excluded from the statewide lawsuit.