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Echoes Of New York’s Failure: Connecticut Files Climate Lawsuit

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Why does Energy In Depth – a research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America – have a website on climate litigation and the #ExxonKnew campaign? Simple: because these...

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  • Sep 14, 2020

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil on Monday alleging deception over climate change impacts, rehashing the same, unfounded “Exxon Knew” claims that were unsuccessfully pushed in the failed New York Attorney General’s case against the company.

The state’s decision isn’t surprising, considering Connecticut was one of the original players in a coalition of state attorneys general assembled with the intent of pursuing climate lawsuits. Since then, Connecticut has been supported by or benefitted from the same group of activists and wealthy donors including Pay Up Climate Polluters,, and the State Energy & Environment Impact Center, but faces long odds of success as noted by the Washington Post:

“Even if they remain in the states, climate lawsuits have a history of eventually losing steam. … And a month earlier, ExxonMobil prevailed over New York after the state alleged the company misled investors about how it calculated the financial risks of future climate regulations.

“… The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) fell short even with a powerful anti-fraud law called the Martin Act, which does not require prosecutors to prove intent, at its disposal. The loss has discouraged other states from using their own investor-protection laws to prosecute oil firms.” (emphasis added)

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