The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mike Meno, Center for Climate Integrity,

Minnesota Wins Key Ruling Against Big Oil in Climate Lawsuit

Six Federal Appeals Courts Have Now Unanimously Rejected Fossil Fuel Company Arguments to Avoid Trials in State Court


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today handed Minnesota a major victory in its climate fraud lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute. In a unanimous ruling, the federal appeals court agreed with a lower court that the state’s lawsuit — which seeks to hold the companies accountable for lying to consumers about their role in the climate crisis — can proceed in state court, where it was filed.

Six federal appeals courts and 13 federal district courts have now unanimously ruled against the fossil fuel industry’s arguments to avoid climate accountability trials in state courts. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department added its support to communities suing Big Oil, urging the Supreme Court to deny a fossil fuel industry request to review a similar appeals court ruling in Colorado.

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

“This ruling is a major victory for Minnesota’s efforts to hold oil giants accountable for their climate lies, and a major defeat for fossil fuel companies’ attempt to escape justice. Big Oil companies have fought relentlessly to avoid facing the evidence of their climate fraud in state court, but once again judges have unanimously rejected their arguments. After years of Big Oil’s delay tactics, it’s time for the people of Minnesota to have their day in court.”

Background on Climate Accountability Lawsuits Against Big Oil:

Since 2017, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, as well as 35 municipal governments in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Washington, and Puerto Rico, have filed lawsuits to hold major oil and gas companies accountable for deceiving the public about their products’ role in climate change.

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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