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Bucks County Takes on Big Oil for Lying About the Climate Crisis It Has Been Creating

“Bucks County is the first Pennsylvania government to file a climate accountability lawsuit against Big Oil companies, but it likely won’t be the last,” said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Bucks County government announced Monday it is willing to fight to save the planet. It filed a lawsuit to hold accountable the “titans of the fossil fuel industry” – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Philips 66, Shell, and API – for “intentionally” deceiving the public for decades about its product’s role in accelerating the climate crisis which has caused so much destruction in its wake. 

“By taking Big Oil companies to court for their climate lies, Bucks County joins a growing wave of communities that are demanding accountability and taking action to make polluters pay for a crisis these companies knowingly fueled and lied about for decades,” said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity. “More than one in four people in the U.S. now live in a community suing major fossil fuel companies to make them pay for their climate deception. Bucks County is the first Pennsylvania government to file a climate accountability lawsuit against Big Oil companies, but it likely won’t be the last.” 

The lawsuit seeks to shift the financial burden from taxpayers who suffer from climate-related damages and destruction to the companies responsible for creating this climate crisis. In fact, the Center for Climate Integrity released a report last year revealing that Pennsylvania faces more than $15 billion in climate adaptation costs by 2040, while Bucks County municipalities would likely need to spend almost $1 billion in that time to adapt infrastructure to make it climate-resilient.

READ: Pennsylvania Can Lead the Nation to a Cleaner Future, Before It’s Too Late

“In recent years, we have experienced unprecedented weather events here in Bucks County that have repeatedly put residents and first responders in harm’s way, damaged public and private property and placed undue strain on our infrastructure,” said Commissioner Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia. “We’re already seeing the human and financial tolls of climate change beginning to mount, and if the oil companies’ own data is to be believed, the trend will continue.”  

This lawsuit also has bipartisan support with the county commissioners. Republican Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo called out Big Oil for its inexcusable deceit and for putting its profits over the planet and our shared future.

“These companies have known since at least the 1950s that their ways of doing business were having calamitous effects on our planet, and rather than change what they were doing or raise the alarm, they lied to all of us,” said DiGirolamo. “The taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for these companies and their greed.”

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Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

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