Exxon, BP, and Shell fall after New York City sues the major oil companies for misrepresenting their role in climate change

Bill de Blasio IowaREUTERS/Scott MorganThen-2020 Democratic presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talks with the media at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., August 11, 2019.
  • BP, Shell, and Exxon Mobil all fell on Thursday after NYC sued the oil giants for misrepresenting their role in climate change.
  • The lawsuit came from mayor Bill de Blasio’s office after a similar case was dismissed by the 2nd Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
  • “My Earth Day message to Big Oil: See you in court,” De Balsio wrote in a letter announcing the lawsuit.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Exxon, BP, Shell fell Thursday on news New York City is suing the oil companies along with the American Petroleum Institute for “systematically and intentionally deceiving New Yorkers” on climate change issues, according to a press release from the office of the mayor.

The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the County of New York by the mayor’s office on Thursday.

It calls out defendants for allegedly violating New York City’s Consumer Protection Law (New York City Administrative Code ยงยง 20-700 et seq.) with false advertising.

Specifically, the suit alleges oil companies have 1) used product promotions to convince consumers that the purchase and use of their products is beneficial in addressing climate change.

And 2) have used “greenwashing campaigns” directed at NYC consumers to falsely present themselves as corporate leaders in the fight against global warming.

NYC’s mayor’s office also says the oil giants have mischaracterized the size of their investments in low-emission technologies and zero-emission renewable energy on advertisements and in social media posts.

“Our children deserve to live in a world free from climate change, and we must do everything in our power to give them hope and stop climate change in its tracks,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That means taking on some of the biggest polluting corporations for false advertising and greenwashing, in direct violation of our Consumer Protection Laws.”

“My Earth Day message to Big Oil: See you in court,” the mayor added.

A separate lawsuit filed by New York City against major oil companies for damages caused by global warming was recently dismissed by the 2nd circuit court of appeals, per Reuters.

Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan wrote a decision for a three-judge panel on that case and said, “global warming presents a uniquely international problem of national concern. It is therefore not well-suited to the application of state law.”

Chevron General Counsel Hewitt Pate said that the lawsuit “explains in clear detail why the U.S. climate tort lawsuits are meritless,” and argued “working with the new U.S. administration, other governments, and other honest stakeholders on constructive global solutions is a better path.”

Exxon Mobil stock traded down as much as 1.7% on Thursday, while BP and Shell traded down 2.62% and 2.25%, respectively.

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