The real facts are not with California…but facts are sometimes not a part in court decisions.
After returning from a lovely trip through both peninsulas of Michigan…paying less than $4 per gallon for gasoline, I had sticker shock when filling up my tank this weekend.
Gas prices in Southern California shot up at their fastest rate of the year last week, according to data released by AAA.
A gallon of regular self-serve gasoline cost an average of $5.62 in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metro area as of Thursday. That is up 18 cents from last week and 38 cents from last month.
The national average price is nearly $2 less — $3.86 — up 6 cents from a week ago.
However, instead of supporting the fossil fuel industry and encouraging the development of resources and supplies, the political class in Sacramento is targeting oil companies in a lawsuit.
The state of California has sued major oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Shell PLC (SHEL.L), and Chevron Corp (CVX.N), accusing them of playing down the risks posed by fossil fuels, according to a court filing on Friday.
The lawsuit, which also targets BP (BP.L) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N), alleges the energy giants’ actions have caused tens of billions of dollars in damages and accuses them of deceiving the public, the filing in a superior court in San Francisco showed.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, has also been listed as a defendant in the case, according to the filing.
California has sought the creation of an abatement fund to pay for future damages caused by climate-related disasters in the state, the filing showed.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, “California is taking action to hold big polluters accountable.”
The petroleum industry counters that the courts are not the proper place to establish climate policy.
In a statement, Ryan Meyers, general counsel of the American Petroleum Institute, said: “This ongoing, coordinated campaign to wage meritless, politicized lawsuits against a foundational American industry and its workers is nothing more than a distraction from important national conversations and an enormous waste of California taxpayer resources. Climate policy is for Congress to debate and decide, not the court system.”
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the people of California by the state’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, was filed late on Friday. It claims that starting in the 1950s, the companies and their allies intentionally downplayed the risks posed by fossil fuels to the public, even though they understood that their products were likely to lead to significant global warming.
I place some of the blame on Big Oil. The industry should have diverted some of its enormous resources years ago to counter the ‘climate crisis’ inanity through media, education, and research projects. Now, it is forced to scramble against the Green Energy Regime.
Fortunately, this important American industry has facts behind it. Dr. Matthew Wielicki, Earth scientist and climate science analyst, dissects the first claim that “The State Has Suffered, Is Suffering, and Will Suffer Injuries from Defendants’ Wrongful Conduct”:
California is being impacted and will continue to be impacted in years and decades to come by higher average temperatures and more frequent and severe heat waves. The last nine years have been the nine hottest on record, and that trend is only expected to continue. These changes will pose a risk to every region of the state. Severe harms from rising temperatures are already a reality in many frontline communities. Members of frontline communities tend to work in occupations with increased exposure to extreme heat, such as the agricultural, construction, and delivery industries.
However, when we look at the observed number of extremely hot days, we see that observations in the 2020s are on par with those observed in the 1930s, when atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~308ppm.
Wielicki has much more analysis at Substack.
"In summary, the sophomoric ‘People of the State of California v Big Oil’ lawsuit appears to be nothing more than a money grab as nearly all of the claims can be easily debunked. These unscientific and frivolous lawsuits are becoming the new normal…" https://t.co/Iqfyv0xt4R pic.twitter.com/0aJB5iXFIT
— Dr. Matthew M. Wielicki (@MatthewWielicki) September 18, 2023
Furthermore, if carbon dioxide (a life-essential gas) is the culprit in this climate drama, Big Oil can point to China for the significantly increased contribution.
…[T]he leading contributor of atmospheric carbon emissions is coal, not oil. Asia — especially China — dominates coal consumption. California’s lawsuit narrowly targets predominantly U.S. oil companies when the global challenge is far broader.
How responsible is China’s coal consumption in the overall scheme? How about overall Asia Pacific emissions, which dwarf those of the U.S. and EU?
The reason that graphic looks like that is coal burning in Asia, not lies from Big Oil. Note that emissions in the U.S. aren’t a lot higher than they were 50 years ago, and emissions from oil are a subset of overall emissions. Where, exactly, is Big Oil’s culpability in this graphic?
I hope the petroleum companies have learned some valuable lessons about pacifying woke activists intent on destroying the fossil fuel industry.
The real facts are not with California. Unfortunately, facts are sometimes not a factor in court decisions.
Meanwhile, I personally hope Big Oil doesn’t consider other response options.
Maybe big oil should stop selling its product in California and see how well that goes over with everyone
— Madlaw (@madlaw1071) September 16, 2023
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