NYC Sues Exxon, Shell, BP and Trade Group for Advertising-Related Claims
By Dave Sebastian
New York City has sued Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC,
BP PLC and the trade group American Petroleum Institute for
allegedly misleading consumers about the climate effects of the
The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New
York, alleges the oil-and-gas companies and the group violated the
city's Consumer Protection Law by convincing customers that the
purchase and use of their products contributes to addressing
climate change. The city called the move "false and misleading" for
not disclosing the effects associated with the use of fossil-fuel
"My Earth Day message to Big Oil: See you in court," Mayor Bill
de Blasio said Thursday. Earth Day is April 22.
The complaint alleges the companies mischaracterized the size of
their investments in low-emission technologies and zero-emission
renewable energy on advertisements, social media and other
promotional materials. Citing data from the International Energy
Agency, the city said the investments comprise a small percentage
of the companies' total business.
The city compared the industry's messaging with tobacco
companies' advertising of "low tar" and "light" cigarettes as
healthier smoking options.
A separate lawsuit filed by the city against Chevron Corp.,
ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Shell and BP was recently dismissed in the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The city sued the
companies for damages caused by global greenhouse gas
"In response to a significant loss in the 2nd Circuit, New York
City is now attempting to litigate other meritless issues with this
lawsuit," said Paul Afonso, chief legal officer of the American
Petroleum Institute. "The record of the past two decades
demonstrates that the industry has achieved its goal of providing
affordable, reliable American energy to U.S. consumers while
substantially reducing emissions and our environmental
BP said it doesn't comment on pending litigation. The Wall
Street Journal has also reached out to Exxon and Shell.
Write to Dave Sebastian at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 22, 2021 12:45 ET (16:45 GMT)
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