Story at a glance
- Vermont on Tuesday filed suit against several fossil fuel companies.
- The lawsuit alleges the companies misled consumers about their products' effects on climate change.
- “Give Vermonters accurate information. Put a label on the product and let Vermonters decide,” Donovan said.
Vermont on Tuesday filed suit against several fossil fuel companies, alleging the companies misled consumers about their products' effects on climate change.
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said the state is asking companies for product transparency akin to labels on tobacco products, The Associated Press (AP) reported. But Donovan said the state is not attempting to prevent the companies from selling their products in the state.
“What we are saying is that Vermonters have the right to know,” Donovan said, per the AP. “Give Vermonters accurate information. Put a label on the product and let Vermonters decide.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE RIGHT NOW
The lawsuit alleges that companies “have known for decades that the Earth’s climate has been changing because of emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and that the fossil fuels they sell are the primary source of those emissions.″
“They market fossil fuel products to Vermont consumers by advertising that use of their products is supposedly better for the environment than other products, while staying silent in the ads about the continuing, significant contributions their products actually make to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change,″ the suit continued.
Casey Norton, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil, one of the companies named in the suit, told the AP that “legal proceedings like this waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money and do nothing to advance meaningful actions that reduce the risks of climate change,” adding that the suit was baseless.
The state filed the suit under the Vermont Consumer Protection Agency Act and became the sixth state to sue major oil companies for their alleged contributions to climate change.
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