ExxonMobil looks to retaliate for Marin lawsuit


Photo Courtesy of The Patch

San Mateo experienced flooding in 2017, something they believe Exxon is partially responsible for

Ethan Singleton, Hook Editor

In response to a lawsuit by Marin, San Mateo and San Diego Counties, ExxonMobil is filing a retaliatory lawsuit against those county governments. Exxon is alleging that the counties failed to inform their bondholders of the relevant information which they cite in their lawsuit.

ExxonMobil is being accused of deliberately denying the reality of global warming whilst being aware that it is a real issue.

Today, ExxonMobil’s website cautiously acknowledges climate change. According to their website climate change poses a serious risk, one that “warrants action.” They also admit that there is consensus among scientists that carbon emissions in the atmosphere contribute to global warming.

“Currently, the scientific evidence is inconclusive as to whether human activities are having a significant effect on the global climate.” CEO Lee Raymond said in 1996.

This was neither a correct statement nor one made in good faith. In 1978, nearly two decades earlier, ExxonMobil’s science advisor James Black warned Exxon’s management committee of the danger of climate change caused by carbon emissions. “Man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategy might become critical.” Black said.

Marin is suing ExxonMobil over the damages that their climate denial will cause the county, and for their failure to inform the public of this danger. “From Marin’s recently released Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, I know that billions of dollars of homes, businesses and property are in harm’s way and face inundation and destruction.” Supervisor Katherine Sears of Marin’s third district said.
Environmental Science teacher Allison Sherman strongly supports the lawsuit against Exxon. “We all know fossil fuels have caused climate change; it’s not a debate. Sea level rise is already happening, and Exxon knows that. It’s really heartening that state and local governments are suing these guys, I’m thrilled!” Sherman said.

ExxonMobil has responded with their own lawsuit, John O’Brien, the editor of Legal Newsline has written an article in Forbes supporting it.

Supervisor Sears does not believe Exxon has a strong case. “It’s a completely ridiculous claim Exxon is making.” Sears said.