Oil Companies Delivered Powerful Blow From New York City

Oil Companies Delivered Powerful Blow From New York City

The lawsuit follows the city's announcement that it plans to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel companies.

New York City's "toughest challenge" may be climate change in the coming decades.

NY joined other municipalities hoping to use the law to hold oil and gas producers responsible for costs related to the environmental effects of their products.

The total in the pension fund is $189 billion ($AU236 billion).

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during his election night victory gathering, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in New York.

The mayor blamed the oil industry for helping to cause extreme weather events, including deadly Hurricane Sandy.

This week, ExxonMobil asked to depose 16 California state officials who sued the company over selling fuel they say is warming the planet, raising the seas and, they contend, threatening their communities - just the most recent escalation in the legal fight between the largest USA oil and gas firms and blue-state officials over climate change. Exxon has rejected the claims.

"The costs to address climate damages and prepare for future impacts are enormous and growing", said Frumhoff.

New York City is breaking up with big oil.

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ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The National Association of Manufacturers, which represents the oil companies, slammed NY for joining a "politically-motivated campaign to undermine manufacturing in America". With New York City becoming the first city outside of California to officially file a climate-related liability lawsuit, the comparison becomes even more apt, hinting at the possibility of a multi-state coalition similar to the 46-state coalition that was a part of the tobacco settlement.

Last year, Dutch online journalism platform The Correspondent and The Guardian newspaper reported on a 1991 Shell educational video called Climate of Concern, that warned "our energy-consuming way of life may be causing climatic changes".

A New York Times article this week describes efforts to redraw the city's flood maps, noting, "With its 520 miles of coastline and thousands of acres of waterfront development, New York has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the country".

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said, "New York City's impressive leadership makes me hopeful for the future".

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, shown at his January 1 swearing-in, announced Wednesday that city pension funds would divest from fossil fuel investments. Some funds may choose to accept the proposals while others may not. "Our announcement sends a message to the world that a brighter economy rests on being green".

Stringer acknowledged that divesting from fossil fuels will be "complex" and will "take time".

At a press conference yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his chief financial officer said that it will instruct the fund's trustees to find ways to remove these holdings in a responsible way that meet its current obligations.

The American Petroleum Institute has previously said the divestment movement is misguided. Several years ago a group of states sued using federal public nuisance laws targeting power plants, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that enforcement for greenhouse gases was left to the EPA, preventing states from bringing suits. The biggest driver of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels like oil and gas.

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