A special message from Keith Ellison
Minnesota’s Attorney General filed suit against Exxon, Koch and API over the summer.
Emily Sanders is the Center for Climate Integrity’s editorial lead. Catch up with her on Twitter here.
Didn’t expect to be hearing from us on a Tuesday, did you? Well, we have something a little extra for you this week: a message from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who filed a consumer fraud lawsuit in June against three kingpins of climate disinformation and denial — Exxon, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute.
Ellison is here to remind us of exactly why he took these goons court. The following message is brought to you by the YEARS Project and Fossil Free Media as part of a video series that “pushes back on industry propaganda and tells the truth about fossil fuels.”
Exxon would probably hate it if you shared this video with the hashtag #ExxonKnew… so we encourage you to do just that.
About MN’s case
The state was the first in the country to sue the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries for the role they played in deceiving the public about climate change — and the disastrous consequences for the people of Minnesota. API is the world’s largest oil and gas trade association, and its campaigns of deception continue to this day; Koch Industries is the largest oil refiner in Minnesota and one of the most powerful architects of climate denial and disinformation in history.
The lawsuit asks all three companies to disgorge the profits they made through false advertising, publish all of their relevant research, and fund a new campaign to re-educate the public on the climate crisis — fitting, since one of their particularly odious actions was a campaign to target schoolchildren and teachers with climate denialist propaganda.
Minnesota’s lawsuit was also the first to explicitly highlight the disproportionate impact of Big Oil’s misdeeds on low-income communities of color — specifically, Black and Indigenous communities in the state whose lives and livelihoods are now most at risk from a crisis they did least to cause.
An update on the case: The industry is terrified of this suit — and as usual, they’re fighting to have it dismissed in federal court. The case relies on Minnesota’s bedrock consumer protection laws, which were also at play when it became the first state whose lawsuit against Big Tobacco went to trial — and these claims have always been addressed in state court.
That’s all, folks! We’ll have more for you about what the bad guys are up to — and how this movement is pushing back — in our regular Friday issue. Stay tuned!