#ExxonKnew – Something Wicked This Way Comes

There’s a trial about to start on Oct 21st in Manhattan, and this promises to be a big deal. It’s the group of state AG’s that have been ganging up on Exxon-Mobil in that “ExxonKnew” litigation. Attorney Chris Horner has been following this, and digging up all sorts of FOIA docs on the issue and posting at Climate Litigation Watch. If you aren’t following this website, or the CLW Twitter feed, you should be.


CLW readers are aware of the new, plaintiffs’ bar-driven push to claim an ability to attribute climate change — all the way down to responsibility for individual storms, weather apparently is climate when it’s the right kind of weather — just as the first AG #ExxonKnew trial approaches, later this month.   Obviously, that case has become an accounting dispute, and has little to nothing to do with climate. It does however seem that certain parties would like to orchestrate some climate background music to give a different sense and, of course, when actual climate trials do occur plaintiffs’ lawyers hope to point juries to specific storms, that they may have personally experienced, as less abstract and so a necessary part of the lawyers’ appeals to emotion.

Consider this during the media mania as the first AG #ExxonKnew trial kicks off the week of October 21 in New York — which has devolved into an accounting dispute, despite the originators’ grand ambitions, as it was also ordered up by the climate tort bar (see also here, and here). Although not actually at issue in the upcoming case, media activism suggests someone or someones thought it would be helpful to whip up some climate fear in the run-up thereto.”


As CLW reported last week, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced to environmentalist pressure groups his intention to join the club of attorneys general suing ExxonMobil, and presumably other energy companies, for various causes of action he might conjure/follow in the footsteps of.

This likely signaled an intention to ride or try and assist the news cycle surround a trial beginning later this month in Manhattan against ExxonMobil for statements (or the absence thereof) regarding climate change that allegedly defrauded investors and the public.

Speaking at an event hosted by the D.C. chapter of the Sierra Club, Racine confirmed his office is in the process of vetting outside counsel to assist in this campaign. In February, OAG released an RFP for “legal services in support of OAG’s investigation and potential litigation against ExxonMobil Corporation…for potential violations of Consumer Protection Procedures Act or other District laws in connection with Exxon’s statements or omissions about the effects of its fossil fuel products on climate change.”

Any award will be based on a contingency fee, a circumstance generating all manner of perverse incentives to both the contractor and OAG. The RFP allows for a maximum of $25,000,000 in fees for the successful contractor (plus no more than $1,000,000 in reimbursable expenses, mister). So, at least there are limits.

Previously, CLW revealed the contract between San Francisco City and County and the plaintiffs’ law firms Sher Edling LLP and Altshuler Berzon LLP. Sher Edling, other public records also obtained by Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C., show, is actively recruiting cities to file suit against energy companies seeking an enormous settlement for having caused ‘global warming.’

That contract promises $25 million of the first $100 million in settlement, $7.5 million of the next $50 million, and 7.5% of any millions over $150 million. As you can see, the DC contract is simply not nearly as appealing — though, of course, it seems quite possible there will be overlap of attorneys such that the DC and other cities’ fees, in the event of a successful extraction of a company’s resources to make this all go away, will be so much gravy.

CLW readers will be familiar with cozy relationship between the D.C. Attorney General’s Office and the climate litigation industry. Racine has already accepted a Bloomberg-funded “Special Assistant Attorney General” for climate prosecutions (SAAG) funded by billionaire climate activist and political donor Michael Bloomberg.

As CLW has previously reported, that arrangement does not appear to be legal, i.e., DC OAG didn’t follow the guidelines set in place by Mayor’s Memorandum 2015-001. AGRacine has also entered into a questionable agreement with noted climate warrior Robert B. McKinstry, Jr. that also failed to comply with the Mayor’s Memorandum, if public record productions are to be believed.

Given OAG’s inability to comply with requirement of the Mayor’s Memorandum on donations, there are yet more reasons for anyone with an interest in fair and transparent law enforcement to be troubled by a contract offering up to $26,000,000 of a potential settlement.

Again, watch for more on this soon given the trial in an analogous case in New York is set to begin the week of October 21.

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70 thoughts on “#ExxonKnew – Something Wicked This Way Comes

  1. Hold up, so when the “weather” is bad, its exxons fault? But when the weather is lush, warm with lite summer winds, and lite rains in autumn, its all exxons fault? Huh, seems the people (greens) really have gone mad for any penny they can tax or steal

    • Remember the “black hole”, “black whore” fund raiser? Yeah, there are numerous precedents.

      Catastrophic Anthropogenic Social (CASP) and Political Corruption (CAPC).

      • You’re on the right track, n.n, as it turns out prostitution is legal in New York City. And these climate hookers are obviously special because they charge in the millions of dollars. I will wait for the condensed video of the proceedings, and hope it isn’t X-rated.

    • Sunny

      Good name. So what about the additional enjoyment of a milder winter each year? If the public was harmed in general, then the benefits of losing fewer people to premature death from chronic underheating in winter must offset it.

      They are not suing in the names of particular people, it is a general complaint. No individual can prove specific harm.

      In the UK this winter there will be at least 50,000 excess deaths caused by cold weather How many additional ones were prevented by the CO2 contributions of Exxon customers burning their products?

      • …excess deaths caused by cold weather[.] How many additional ones were prevented by the CO2 contributions of Exxon customers burning their products?…”

        Actually, none that can be proven. But what does proof have to do with it when it comes to Rain Makers? Anyone ever heard of the Charlie Chaplin paternity suit? Even though blood tests confirmed Chaplin could not be the father (they didn’t have DNA testing, all they could look at was blood type, and it was something like the mother was type A, Chaplin was type AB, and the child was type O), he was ordered to pay child support anyway because the lawyer for the plaintiff played on the emotions of the jury, basically telling them that Chaplin should pay child support because he could afford it. That’s the judge and jury they’re looking for here.

    • ‘Hold up, so when the “weather” is bad, its exxons fault?’

      That is indeed the precedent they are attempting to set.

      Then the lawsuits will REALLY start kicking in.

    • Sunny; no, you don’t understand. When the weather is bad, it’s the fault of the evil oil companies. When the weather is nice, it’s because of Greta Thunberg. You’ve never heard of a “Greta Summer”? Me neither, but that’s no reason for it not to exist. Fairy tales are real, they exist in our minds, and if people confuse them with reality, it’s not the fault of IPCC, is it? Or?

  2. This trial could actually lead to examination of the evidence. None or little of what “climate science” does would hold up to true legal scrutiny.

    • Assuming our justice system isn’t as corrupt as our Climate Scientists. Look at the 9th District wackos.

      We can be pretty sure of one thing for sure, post Kavanaugh, if they hold the White House, and a majority in the Senate, the Dems will stack the supremes with political appointees driven by popular culture and not the law. The climate crazies win the day and throw us back into the middle ages. Look for the Buggy Whip industry to make an abrupt recovery.

    • John Q Public,

      You suggest,
      “This trial could actually lead to examination of the evidence. None or little of what “climate science” does would hold up to true legal scrutiny.”

      I really, really wish I could share your optimism, but I don’t.

      Law courts do not assess scientific information because they do not consider themselves competent to assess such matters. Instead, they accept the opinions of the greatest authority as being correct.

      In matters of science a British High Court has accepted that publications of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are summaries of the most authoritative opinions on the science of climate change. I am not a lawyer but I fear and anticipate the American Court doing the same.

      Richard

      • That is exactly right, as it should be. The government should be taking the advice of our most prominent scientists and their body of work. As I have said many times on this board, AGW CO2 is the prevailing scientific theory. And that theory is supported by volumes of published literature going back decades.

        Every time I bring this up, all I get in return is the null hypothesis.
        Skeptics don’t have to prove anything. It may be true as a scientific proposition, but it does not fly as a practical matter in court. To have a practical chance in court you almost always need an alternative theory to compete with the prevailing theory, and the skeptics don’t have a competing alternative theory yet.

        Svensmark’s theory comes the closest to being an alternative theory that would compete with CO2. But it has not gotten the traction it needs to really compete with CO2. Too bad, because CERN’s Cloud project really helped Svensmark’s case. It proved Svensmark correct when biogenic aerosols were involved in making cloud condensation nuclei.

        Unfortunately Jasper Kirkby, project director of Cloud, opined that biogenics were not nearly as much of a factor as they used to be and that sulfuric acid from pollution is the main aerosol responsible for cloud condensation nuceli today.

        Either Kirkby conveniently forgot, or did not realize, that the southern hemisphere only has 10% of the world’s population. So the cloudiness in the southern hemisphere is not due to pollution. The entire southern hemisphere’s clouds are caused by biogenic aerosols from plankton. This was proven in a paper a year after Cloud’s last paper and Kirkby’s opinion. And the southern hemisphere is cloudier than the northern hemisphere.

        https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/6/e1500157

        So we do have a competing theory, but I seriously doubt Exxon will attempt to show that.

        • There never has to be a competing theory. Occam’s Razor is about going for the simplest explanation because it will also be the easiest to disprove letting you move on to explore another.

          And disprove you could, before adjustments to the GTA. The pause, even with the recent El Nino, was enough to sink the theory. The period when human emissions must really trump nature was a period when extreme natural cooling negated the rise due to emissions (oceans eating heat or something like that) that didn’t have precedence prior to 1970 (because if adjustments!).

          The theory is also how to reconstruct a GTA from data not fit for purpose, but apparently the theory has been robust for ages.

        • Isn’t the real argument quantitative? Yes, CO2 is warming the Earth, but not so much as to make the costs outweigh the benefits.

          Surely that’s a valid legal strategy.

        • There are no cancer risk factors in my life. I have evidence that a witch put a spell on me, and am suing that she is responsible for my cancer.

          Now, you are the defending attorney. Please tell me what legal argument you have since I have ‘ruled out’ natural causes, and you say the null hypothesis doesn’t wotk in court.

          The whole ‘proof’ of Manmade climate change is not founded on direct evidence linking CO2 to global temperatures, but on the assumption that they have eliminated ALL other possible causes, even though they can’t show that they actually understand how the climate works (otherwise, they would have a working model).

          The mere fact that they CANNOT model the climate should be sufficient evidence that they cannot identify WHY the climate may be changing. And it is NOT incumbent upon ME to produce a model at all!

        • davidgmillsatty,

          You are missing the point.
          This thread is about how he legal system considers science.

          But, you say, “The government should be taking the advice of our most prominent scientists and their body of work”
          So what?
          We are NOT talking about governments and politics. The issue under discussion is how the legal system considers science.

          My post you have replied was in reply to John Q Public who had suggested,
          “This trial could actually lead to examination of the evidence. None or little of what “climate science” does would hold up to true legal scrutiny.”

          My post doubted that a Court would examine the scientific evidence because Courts do not do that. As I said,
          “Law courts do not assess scientific information because they do not consider themselves competent to assess such matters. Instead, they accept the opinions of the greatest authority as being correct.”

          However, the scientific method considers all information on its merits (or, at least. attempts to) with no consideration of who provided the information or how it was presented.
          Science REJECTS opinions and authority in favour of conclusions; nullius in verba.

          Your reply to my post fails to provide anything I wrote. Instead, you provide ‘red herrings’ about governments and theories. I can only conclude that you know my comment is right.

          Richard

        • Actually, David – the Glaring Unassailable Fatal Flaw (GUFF) 😉 in History’s greatest hoax (at least in this turning of the cycle), has already been PROVED by the razor’s edge climate research emergent in the last 24-36 months. (+700 peer reviewed papers and counting)

          Devote 9 minutes of your life to this trailer, and your equivocations, heretofore quite reasonable, will evaporate. To wit: – The veritable primary foundation of ALL Climate Science since and pre-dating Kyoto (1993) has collapsed. NO model runs that include the ACTUAL energetic input from our local star to our planet’s energy balance evidence ANY discernable Anthropogenic Contribution beyond statistical noise.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tul07hx8V8w&t=1s

          Tout finis. The End. The Fat Lady Has Sung.

          The rest is the bitter battle ahead with Media Conglomerates, the Green Industrial Complex, venial corrupt legal beagles and our Moral And Intellectual Superiors in the Globalist Community. Ouch.

          Expect a lot more than hand-waving, as in ‘blood-in-the-streets’.

          Thank you for referencing Svensmark and of course the recent admissions out of Princeton and Yale confirming NO MODEL presently employed as basis for IPCC pronouncements can actually model Clouds (as in, more clouds, less clouds, lower trop, middle trop, strato, noctilucent, nada nada nada). Also, though not quite a GCM, the recent paper out of University of Turku, Finland, yields an anthropogenic signature temp of 0.1C over the entire period we’ve been pumping the primary aerial plant food into the air we breath.
          Links on request.
          NB: – the natural aerosols ‘competing theory’ is certainly part of the answer, but one cannot connect the dots properly with solar input limited to TSI – it is egregiously and outrageously misleading (no fault attributed to the many great scientists who must of necessity work with the data sets they’ve been given).

    • Don’t be so confident. Consider the trial in England against Gore’s “And Inconvenient Truth” movie. The plaintiff put forward 9 different claims in the movie as being false, and provided evidence in turn for each. Defendant representatives for Gore could present no counter evidence, essentially admitting the plaintiff was right for each and every claim. Without those claims in Gore’s movie being true, his whole global warming claim is unsupportable, logically and scientifically.

      The judge found for the plaintiff, he had no choice, because the defense was unable to dispute him.. But in his statement, he said that ALTHOUGH GORE’S FILM WAS BASICALLY RIGHT, he had to find for the plaintiff on those specific claims.

      And therein lies the problem. Judges are human too. When the judge in the case is so indoctrinated in global warming hysteria, indisputable evidence will not necessarily be enough to change his mind.

      • @Art @Richard S Courtney:

        The only reason I some optimism is that ExxonMobil has nearly unlimited resources and can parade many experts to their defense.

        • Thus far, oil / energy companies have kowtowed to warmists, a stance which may ultimately bite them in their collective dumpadeedus.

        • Before they can parade experts before the court, they have to get the courts to recognize those people as experts.
          All the prosecution has to do is get the courts to declare that anyone who doesn’t agree that CO2 is a major problem is not an expert and hence excluded from the trial.

          • It would be VERY worthwhile for the courts to so stipulate. It will drive the Appeals strongly if they occur, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court Level. To stipulate that one side needs to be ignored would be very easy to appeal.

      • YES, to your last point, how can a judge or jury be objective when the case hinges on proving they are also a victim of said wrong doing. If they agree with the merits of the case, they are now entangled as a victim, and should immediate recuse themselves.

  3. Seems to me that discovery of the “experts’ files” should have been completed by now, unless there have been some highly unusual protective orders.

  4. There is also this By Benjamin Zycher at RealClearMarkets: The Deeply Destructive Climate Change Litigation Game
    https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2019/09/11/the_deeply_destructive_climate_change_litigation_game_103906.html

    “For now it is more central to examine the pitfalls of litigation masquerading as policy formulation, on the general theory that the production (not consumption) of fossil fuels has created a large “public nuisance” in the form of such climate risks as flooding in coastal regions and the like. At the most basic level, it is obvious that no coherent policy on GHG emissions can emerge from dozens of lawsuits against the producers of fossil fuels filed in state or federal courts alleging “public nuisance” harm. This reality alone makes it clear that the reduction of GHG emissions, supposedly one of the central aims of the litigation strategy, in reality is a sideshow. Far more fundamental, apart from a straightforward money grab, are the ideological goals of hammering the fossil-fuel industry narrowly, and of politicizing and rationing energy use more broadly, and thus reducing the private-sector freedom, enterprise, productive efficiency, and market exchange that abundant energy supplies facilitate.”

  5. Don’t forget about the weather machine in the basement of the White House, that Cheney and Bush used to steer hurricanes into places where black people lived… I bet Exxon knew about that, too!

    Once you accept that Man can change the climate, it’s only a small step to ascribe those superpowers to companies and even individuals. Heck, we’ve even seen movies about it, with superpower heroes! And everyone knows life imitates art…

    • “Don’t forget about the weather machine in the basement of the White House, that Cheney and Bush used to steer hurricanes into places where black people lived”

      There was many years ago (maybe still is, don’t know) a government project in Alaska called HAARP, that some people speculated was a weather controlling technology that could do just that and more. Nothing has convinced me more that such technology doesn’t exist than the innumerable failed climate science predictions, e.g., the 12-year major hurricane hiatus that ended in 2017.

      • I cannot say about HARP but I am sure that HARP was a load of Bull. Of course that was not situated in Alaska but the far more peasant Barbados.

          • I was trying to decide if he meant pleasant, or pheasant.
            I decided to go with what he wrote.
            PS: Your ability to detect humor needs work.

            [The mods are happy he was not trying to describe a happy serf’s servant’s happy bird, lest you be confused by a pleasant peasant’s apprentice’s pleasured pheasant. .mod]

    • If I was defending Exxon I’d ask their representative why they didn’t make the storms go away from heavily populated areas. As he sits there looking at me like I’m crazy I’d follow up with something like, “Well if can create storms with your fuels surely you can make them go where you want them to.”

  6. This should be easy for an objective jurist to ditch this case asap. First and foremost, a judge, who was formerly a lawyer, would know prima facia that applying climate attribution for GHG’s to a weather event would be simply impossible to prove. Climate attribution isn’t even proven science, so what are they going to do, rule that climate science is settled for all time? But not only that, how could any jurisdiction such as a city or a state argue it has been damaged by fossil fuels while it is aggressively utilizing FF’s for the betterment of its citizens and issued licences and permits to the FF companies to operate for which it also collected taxes? It would be like suing anyone else or myself for my bad diet.

    Perhaps an activist court may play politics with this at the lower levels, which is what could happen to start but I just can’t see SCOUTUS upholding any type of favorable ruling for the plaintiff. If it did, then we would be witnessing the unraveling of the rule of law. Not to mention common sense. I would predict this has zero chance of ever winning in the final analysis for these and even other logical reason why this argument of climate attribution would fail at every turn, for the simple reason it just can’t be proven.

    You don’t need to be weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    • I wish I had your optimism.
      Have you listened to all of the recent radio ads looking for plaintiffs in future glyphosate (Roundup) suits (with of course huge contingency fees going to both those hunting for plaintiffs and the actual trial lawyers – often two different groups.)?
      All because a jury disregarded the reams of studies finding that weed killer safe, and believed the one report by an alarmist organization that put the chemical in the same category as fried bacon.

      The bait is”
      – Did you (or someone you love) develop lymphoma?
      – Have you ever used “Roundup”?

      (They may as well ask if you ever ate white bread; the statistical chance of a match are about the same.)

      Call now to see if you are eligible for significant compensation.!

      • What’s really disturbing are those who proclaim that because a jury of scientific illiterates voted to take money from rich people and give it to someone whom the jury found to be sympathetic, that the scientific case against Roundup has been proven.

        • Maybe the defence lawyers should have asked the defendants whether they had ever eaten a bacon sandwich?

  7. What is the liability for all those City authorities who used the demon fuel without making due enquiries about the consequences? Where does the buck stop?

  8. The jury selection process will need the most advanced IQ testing systems or multi-testing system to screen out high or average IQs. Or perhaps perceptions of intimidation of jurors by community activism is in order as in the OJ trial. At any rate, all doubt must be stamped out in order to share in the riches of the penalty awards. Call it the Golden Piltdown Man or the treasure under the Big W.

  9. Since CO2 from the combustion of oil and gas is such an existential threat, surely Exxon Mobil should immediately cease delivery of these fossil fuels to the states pursuing the suit.

  10. Key thing not to lose sight of here: Our enviro-activist friends don’t merely say Exxon “knew” but chose to ignore AGW, they imply ‘Big Oil’ hired skeptic climate scientist shills to spread disinformation. Al Gore implied as much at Davos 2008 at the 29:08 point of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Do9vut6tc&t=1748s . The AGW lawsuits do the same, citing the same ‘leaked memo phrase evidence’ which Gore mentioned. Problem is, those leaked memos never were what Gore and his mob has long portrayed them to be, and if he’s known his ‘evidence’ was worthless this whole time but pushed it with malice anyway, then he and his pals may have committed one of the biggest acts of libel/slander in history. I cover that fatal fault of these AGW lawsuits here: http://gelbspanfiles.com/?cat=135

  11. And what about all the bonds and other debts issued by the various governments? If they were issued without calling attention to the “risks due to climate change”, then the governments have acted fraudulently – assuming that they really believe the risks to be real.

  12. The upcoming “trial” has nothing to do with climate change…

    How was the campaign funded?

    The #ExxonKnew campaign is extremely well-funded and includes paid media coverage, legal support, activist groups, and academic research. Foundations providing financial support for the campaign include: Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund, Rockefeller Philanthropy, Open Society Foundations, Energy Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

    What was the outcome?

    In 2015, environmental activists and class-action lawyers succeeded in securing an investigation of ExxonMobil by then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as originally envisioned in the La Jolla report. The investigation was widely founded on claims that scientists and researchers from ExxonMobil knew that man-made emissions caused global climate change in the 1970s and 1980s, but that the company kept those findings secret. Contrary to their claims, ExxonMobil’s understanding of climate change has tracked the scientific consensus on climate change, and its research on the issue has been published in publicly available peer-reviewed journals.

    After over three years of investigation, during which ExxonMobil turned over four million pages of documents, the New York Attorney General’s office settled on bringing charges against ExxonMobil, not related to what the company knew about climate change , but instead obscure questions around ExxonMobil’s economic modeling and accounting practices, under New York’s controversial Martin Act statute.

    While those involved in the #ExxonKnew campaign have tried to claim their effort is based on investigative reporting by InsideClimate News (ICN) and the Columbia School of Journalism (via the Los Angeles Times), those stories were bought and paid for by many of the organizations listed above.

    Understanding the #ExxonKnew controversy

     
    The #ExxonKnew fraud has fallen apart like a cheap suit. All of the allegedly “secret climate science” in Exxon’s and Mobil’s 1960’s through 1980’s files consisted of nothing more than analyses of publicly available research published by the AGU, AMS, etc., and U.S. government agencies.

    This fraudulent lawsuit alleges that ExxonMobil has defrauded investors because idiotic future government policies and Bill McKibben will force them to “leave it in the ground.”

    This is the most egregious abuse of the law in the history of the known Universe… I just hope that ExxonMobil slaps the biggest RICO lawsuit in the history of the known Universe on thses @$$hats.


    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/14/ny-attorney-general-defies-judges-order-in-exxon-case/

    • Lovely little business ya got there. Be a shame if sumpin’ was to happin to it. Let me make ya an offer ya can’t refuse…

  13. Meanwhile in Manitoba we are preparing for an early blizzard compliments of Uncle Sam sending us a Colorado Low. (Colorado Lows are America’s revenge for all that cold arctic air we send you in winter.) To be fair, October blizzards are not unheard of up here so we can’t say “climate change”. We must say “weather”. However the arrival a massive three day blizzard in early October is hardly consistent with a warming planet in a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. That “warming twice as fast” came straight from our Prime Minister in the leadership debate last night. Election in two weeks and I fervently hope he is soon our ex Prime Minister.

      • I was going to say “Why inflict him on all those poor kids?”, then I remembered all the suffering those poor kids do under their regular teachers, and I realized it wouldn’t make a difference to them.

    • Funny thing about that “Arctic warming twice as fast” meme: in NOAA’s GHCN-Monthly data set there are over 28,000 stations across the globe.

      There are only 14 reporting stations north of 75N, and none north of 80N. Over the past 30 years, the average July temperatures have had a negative trend at two of them, and over the past 10-15 years, 10 of the other 12 have had negative or flat trends.

      All of the grid-and-weighting methods, going back to Hansen’s paper, give 1200 km as the limit for interpolating temperatures between stations; however, across the far north is a huge area where stations are up to 2200 km apart. That’s far beyond that limit, yet NOAA’s and GISTEMP’s graphics span and connect these cells with no mention of the distances involved

  14. Once again, this is all about setting legal precedents.

    Progressives are really feeling their oats – I’ve never seen things this dirty – across the board.

    Makes it easy to see how atrocities like the Holocaust happen. All you need are the dedicated, the self-righteous, and the willing.

  15. I thought this issue had already been put to bed in several courts. It certainly has in terms of the evidence about what “Exxon knew”.

    I’m still reasonably happy to see the global warming maniacs galloping down this fruitless avenue, though I guess I shouldn’t underestimate the incompetence of both Judges and highly paid attorneys at Exxon.

    • It works. Recent judgements in product liability cases have established that correlation is now causation in court.

      • Heck, they don’t even have to prove correlation. All they need is a sympathetic client and a defendant with deep pockets.

  16. What about the vast benefits that fossil fuels have brought us the last 200+ years? If we are going to have an accounting of the damages that FF have caused the last 200+ years, then obviously we have to also include all the benefits, including all the warmer weather that prevented all those killing frosts that would have hurt agriculture so badly. Any analysis in a court of law is going to have to include both sides of the ledger of accounts, and the best they can objectively do is find for a 50-50 damage/benefit. Nobody could argue that there hasn’t been vast benefits from FF, only what percentage the damage to benefit ratio actually is. And that can never be proven fully. This isn’t the same as the tobacco cases, since no one actually benefited from smoking, except the tobacco companies. Fossil fuels are the miracle of our modern day civilization which has allowed for 7.6 billion people to multiply on the good Earth.

    At the end of the day, when the last appeal is heard, this can never be found that FF were only damaging to people and the planet, but it is a mix of both and it is a moot point to try and conclude what that percentage actually is. This is why the case can never be won against Exxon, especially when the plaintiff benefited greatly (and still does) from the taxes and jobs it also creates. Having said that, I would not be surprised to see this churn in the courts for several years to come, just because there is so much money to be had by the lawyers, and the x-lawyers (judges) to go through the motions. But the high courts can at best only rule 50-50, or dismiss the case outright for these and a 100 other reasons. IMHO.

  17. Note from Exxon and other oil companies to AGs of the states in question. OK we agree that we will stop selling our gasoline or other petroleum products in your state.

    That should be their response. I wonder how long it would take until the people of those states finally wake up and fire the AG’s.

  18. Is there not an entire library full of prior decisions in which weather was considered an “Act of God?” At what point did that cease to be relevant?

  19. why doesn’t Exxon just make an open settlement to any takers.
    Any person or entity who owned shares in the 1970s, or whenever Exxon published their research on this, can exchange those shares + dividends paid, in return for a the equivalent value of a T-bill purchased at that time (note, interest rates were fairly high in the late 70 – early 80s)

  20. Sometimes I wish these yahoos would actually win the day and totally disrupt our use of fossil fuels. I have no doubt that we would survive the ensuing chaos, and they wouldn’t. After we got the lights turned back on, the world would be a better place.

    They remind me of a dog chasing a car. No idea what to do if they caught it.

  21. So, the bloody brilliant Exxon scientists had it all worked out decades ago?

    And then it took billions of dollars in research and twenty years of work and thousands of publications for our climate scientists to catch up?

    Yep, that’s a pretty logical argument.

  22. Remember when the Virgin Islands AG (at the time, Claude Walker) served a subpoena on CEI? I was in the Civil Section of the AG’s office back then. I am glad Walker assigned the case to Carol Jacobs and not to me. I am no longer in the USVI and Walker is no longer AG.

  23. Exxon is been part of an industry that collectively has contributed to the highest standard of living , cultural , social and educational progress in the history of the planet .
    They sell life saving, life enriching products that are legal and highly valued .
    They should be celebrated and not vilified by ambulance chasers who have so financially
    screwed up they are looking for a sugar daddy to bail them out and make some opportunistic lawyers rich .
    This is such a disgusting waste of scarce resources .

  24. NYC AG’s, attorneys general suing ExxonMobil for bad weather because

    NYC AG’s, attorneys general can’t sue the heavens for the weather. Poor Hiob’s before the Lord.

    Following NYC AG’s, attorneys general can sue California’s Beach Front Cities for all swimmers ever drowned in the Pacific because

    NYC AG’s, attorneys general can’t sue the heavens for the sheer existence of the Pacific Ocean. Poor Hiob’s before the Lord.

  25. Anyway good for ExxonMobil – such could clean up the market from all smaller fossil fuels business competitors.

    A role model other businesses could follow – survive provoked accusation, let competitors stumble and fall in the aftermath.

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