The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Meno,,

In Maui Visit, Biden Should Support Climate Lawsuits Against Big Oil


President Biden’s upcoming visit to Maui — site of the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history — comes as Maui County, and neighboring Honolulu, are fighting to put major oil and gas companies on trial to hold them accountable for fueling destructive climate damages, including wildfires.

President Biden has voiced support for climate lawsuits against oil companies, and this year his administration filed a brief in support of the communities that have brought them. Nearly two dozen members of Congress recently urged the Justice Department to either investigate or sue Big Oil companies for their climate deception.

Maui and Honolulu separately sued Big Oil companies for climate damages in 2020, citing the industry’s decades-long efforts to mislead the public about climate change. President Biden’s visit to Maui comes as the communities are still fighting for their day in court: In oral arguments on Thursday, an attorney for Big Oil urged the Hawai`i Supreme Court to overturn state court rulings that allowed Honolulu’s case to proceed toward trial and discovery.

Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, released the following statement:

“Hawai`i communities are on the front lines of the fight to hold Big Oil companies accountable for knowingly increasing the risks of deadly wildfires and other climate disasters. President Biden should unequivocally voice his support for the people of Maui and Honolulu in their efforts to put fossil fuel companies on trial for their climate deception and make polluters pay for the damage they have caused.

“Simply connecting the deadly Maui fires and other recent disasters to climate change is not enough; it’s time for President Biden to make clear to the American people that the oil and gas industry must be held accountable for their lies and pollution that continue to fuel the climate crisis.”

The Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) helps cities and states across the country hold corporate polluters accountable for the massive impacts of climate change.

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