The attorney general for the District of Columbia on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, Chevron Corp, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc for “systematically and intentionally misleading” consumers about the role their products play in causing climate change, the latest action by a U.S. attorney general against the oil and gas industry.
The lawsuit brought by Attorney General Karl Racine comes a day after Minnesota AG Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit against the American Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries for violating state laws barring consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising.
“The defendants violated the District’s consumer protection law by concealing the fact that using fossil fuels threatens the health of District residents and the environment,” Racine said in a statement.
The intent of the legal action is to “end these disinformation campaigns and to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive practices,” he said.
The companies were not immediately available for comment.
Minnesota and D.C.’s lawsuits are the latest in a string of legal challenges by states, cities, and citizen groups targeting fossil fuel companies over their role in global warming.
Counterparts in California, New York and Massachusetts also filed lawsuits against oil majors but the Minnesota and DC lawsuits focus on consumer protection.