Hoboken suing big oil companies, trade association over climate change

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- The City of Hoboken filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, other "big oil" companies, and the American Petroleum Institute for what it says is a decades-long campaign of misinformation related to climate change and its devastating impact, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced Wednesday.

The suit claims the companies and the national trade association lied about the effects of their products and misled the public about climate change, all the while bringing in billions of dollars in profit.

"As a coastal community, Hoboken has directly felt the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and more frequent storms," said Mayor Bhalla. "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."

A release from the City says the litigation comes at no expense to the City of Hoboken or Hoboken taxpayers.

The lawsuit is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate the City for past, current, and future costs associated with climate change. The City alleges violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, as well as claims for negligence and common law remedies to prevent and abate hazards to public health, safety, welfare, and the environment.

When reached for comment, Corporate Media Relations Manager for ExxonMobil, Casey Norton released the following statement:

"Legal proceedings like this waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money and do nothing to advance meaningful actions that reduce the risks of climate change. ExxonMobil will continue to invest in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting society's growing demand for energy. The claims are baseless and without merit. We look forward to defending the company in court."

----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.