Maxwell Bernstein | June 26, 2020
The state of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against the American Petroleum Institute (API), Koch Industries, and Exxon Mobil Corp. on Wednesday, according to the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. The lawsuit targets the oil industry for actively misinforming the public on the effects of climate change, despite knowing the how their products directly warm the planet.
“Previously unknown internal documents were recently discovered that confirm that Defendants well understood the devastating effects that their products would cause to the climate, including Minnesota, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s. But Defendants did not ever disclose to the public—or to Minnesotans—their actual knowledge that would confirm the very science they sought to undermine,” the state of Minnesota said in the lawsuit.
This is the first state to name the API, the United State’s main oil and natural gas lobbying group, as a defendant in a lawsuit. This lawsuit comes in a series of lawsuits from citizen groups, cities, and state governments which include New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, according to Reuters.
The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States comes from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation, according to the EPA.