ExxonMobil sued over alleged climate change cover-up

ExxonMobil has been sued by an environmental advocacy group over an alleged climate cover-up. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed a lawsuit against the oil company for its endangerment of […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

ExxonMobil has been sued by an environmental advocacy group over an alleged climate cover-up.

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed a lawsuit against the oil company for its endangerment of communities along the Mystic River.

It claims Exxon is contributing to past and present handling, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes at its Boston-area fuel storage terminal.

It also alleges the firm has violated the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – laws designed to protect the health and safety of waterfront communities in the face of climate change.

CLF accuses the company of failing to fortify the facility to withstand climate change, including extreme weather events and rising sea levels. It claims the lawsuit is the first of its kind in the US since revelations last year about the corporation’s decade-long campaign to discredit climate science.

CLF President Bradley Campbell said: “For more than three decades, ExxonMobil has devoted its resources to deceiving the public about climate science while using its knowledge about climate change to advance its business operations. Communities were put in danger and remain in danger, all to cut costs for one of the most profitable corporations in the world.

“It’s time to make Exxon answer for decades of false statements to the public and to regulators and ensure that its Everett facility meets its legal obligation to protect thousands of people and the Boston Harbor estuary from toxic water pollution.”

ExxonMobil believes the lawsuit is based on “discredited and inaccurate” claims by activists about the firm’s history of support for climate research.

A spokesperson added: “We will fight this in court. This lawsuit is yet another attempt to use the courts to promote a political agenda.

“To suggest that we had reached definitive conclusions, decades before the world’s experts and while climate science was in an early stage of development, is not credible.”