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Chevron Moves Suit from Delaware Claiming Oil Companies Are Causing Climate Change

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For the second time this month, Chevron moved a lawsuit against it and other gas companies to the District Court system.  On Friday the company moved a lawsuit filed by Delaware and its attorney general, Kathleen Jennings, to the District of Delaware, citing the complaint’s use of federal questions and that it “presents substantial federal questions as well as claims that are completely preempted by federal law.” 

The Notice of Removal said that all of the other defendants consented to the removal, and some of the defendants later filed joinders in the removal. The defendants included, among others, Exxon Mobil Corp.; Exxon Mobil Oil Corp; Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Shell Oil Company, BP P.L.C.; BP America Inc.; MarathonOil Corporation; ConocoPhillips; ConocoPhillips Company; Phillips 66; Phillips 66 Company; and the American Petroleum Institute. 

Chevron Corp. and Chevron U.S. A. Inc. took similar steps moving another case to the District of New Jersey earlier this month. That lawsuit was filed against many of the same companies for similar environmental allegations by the City of Hoboken, New Jersey, it was moved to the New Jersey District Court on October 9th. 

In both notices of removal, Chevron noted that the United States Department of Defense is one of the largest energy consumers in the nation and that each administration since the 1930’s has increased oil production in the United States. The notices argued that the “Plaintiff’s claims depend on Defendants’ production, distribution and/or sale of oil and gas that create greenhouse gas emissions if and only if combusted by end users,” but reportedly targeted nationwide and global activities by the defendants as if it were a conspiracy. 

Delaware’s complaint was filed in the state’s Superior Court on September 10. It alleged that oil companies are responsible for causing and accelerating climate change. The state said the defendants knew, or should have known about the effects of fossil fuel products, and statements suggest they are aware, but have not disclosed the possible harms and they misled consumers. 

In the 218-page complaint, Delaware asked the court for a jury trial, compensatory damages, putative damages, and $10,000 fines from the defendants for each time they violated the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act. 

Chevron is represented by Wilks Law and Delaware is represented by its Office of Attorney General. 

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