New York Files Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies

Mayor Bill De Blasio and the city of New York are going after big oil where it hurts the most, the wallet. The city recently announced a lawsuit against five of the major oil companies over damage to the infrastructure damage that was caused by climate change.

Roughly one week after Bill e Blasio was re-elected for a second term, he stepped out with a serious warning for big oil. The city filed a lawsuit which has been noted as one of de Blasio’s strongest steps to fight global warming as well as the rising sea levels that are associated with it. During 2012, de Blasio’s home of New York City experienced major flooding associated with Superstorm Sandy, something he believes can be attributed to global warming. De Blasio spoke recently at a press conference where he noted that New York was likely home to a few climate change deniers prior to Sandy, but after the major storm and its repercussions, he doubts there are any left in his city. He also stated that he felt as though the world was facing a very difficult reality and when it comes to his city, they will not be active in things that endanger humans.

The plan is simple, they are going after those who have gained a profit from things that cause global warming, in this case, big oil. The lawsuit lists BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMonnil and seeks billions in damages that the city has incurred due to what they claim can be blamed on climate change as well as billions more to finance a new infrastructure as well as measures to strengthen the city and protect its people from a repeat of past storms.

De Blasio made no attempt to hide his disgust with oil companies when he discussed how he felt they were disgusting for making a profit that was causing danger to people as well as the way he believes they have misled the public all so they can protect their money. He believes the greed of these companies have put the planet in a position that has made it dangerous and now he believes it is time for them to pay for rebuilding as well as strengthening cities to protect from future damages that could occur due to climate issues.

New York is not the only state to take this approach, California and Colorado have either filed lawsuits or announced that they plan to do so. A spokesperson for The American Petroleum Institute recently stated that de Blasio’s announcement and the lawsuit were disgraceful.

The lawsuit isn’t popular with everyone in the city, the lawsuit came with an announcement that roughly $5 billion from city pension funds that were once invested in fossil fuel companies will now be redistributed to other stocks. De Blasio also announced that he plans to move on to divesting $33 million from the coal industry, one that democrats feel strongly against. Some disagree, stating that fighting climate change is something that should be addressed by businesses and consumers, even through policy changes, but not by the courts. For more detailed information on this lawsuit and what it could mean, head to Huffington Post.

New York City to Separate Itself From the Fossil Fuel Industry

New York City is taking steps to separate itself from the fossil fuel industry while simultaneously challenging the “oil friendly” administration of President Donald Trump. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans to divest the city’s five pension funds from businesses that he largely blames for climate change.
The actual divestment could be complicated, according to the city’s comptroller, and could take some time to complete. The current goal is for completion of the process within five years. The pension funds, which total nearly $190 billion, have been set aside to cover the retirement costs of city workers, including teachers and police officers. The goal is to complete the divestment without causing financial harm to the retirees.
This will be the first time a major city in the United States has taken such steps, but it will not be the only action by New York to deal with climate change. According to the mayor, the city is taking legal action against five oil companies over the same issue in hopes of making them pay for the damage he says they have created. The five companies are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile and Shell. More information about the legal action being taken is available at www.reddit.com/r/nyc.
According to official records, the city has experienced costly damage caused by flooding and erosion, with both conditions directly attributable to climate change. Additional costs were incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York and surrounding areas in 2012. Many scientists believe that climate change has increased the number and intensity of such storms. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit also claim that representatives of the oil industry had for decades denied the known fact that that fossil fuel use can harm the environment. This issue alone is currently the center of a separate investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The action by New York City is also a direct challenge to Trump, who has expressed the desire to remove the United States from the international treaty known as the Paris Agreement. The city has received praise from the former United Nations climate chief and architect of the treaty, Christiana Figueres. She noted that such action represents the first step in eventually creating an economy that is free of fossil fuels.