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Minnesota Attorney General Sues Exxon Over Climate Change

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, pictured on June 3, is leading a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute over what he calls “a campaign of deception” about climate change that the companies “orchestrated and executed with disturbing success.”

Ellison and his office say internal documents show the oil and gas companies knew the damage that fossil fuels would cause as far back as the 1970s and ’80s, yet hid that science and instead launched public relations campaigns denying climate change.

“They directly contradicted what their research found,” Ellison tells NPR. “We can prove that and we will.”

The lawsuit claims that the oil and gas companies violated Minnesota laws against consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false statements in advertising. Ellison said last week that the state is seeking “substantial” damages and for the companies to fund a public education campaign about climate change.

Exxon Mobil responded, calling the lawsuit part of an “ongoing coordinated, politically motivated campaign against energy companies.”

“Legal proceedings like this waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money and do nothing to advance meaningful actions that reduce the risks […]

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