Readers React: A missed opportunity to make Big Oil pay for misleading the public on climate change

The Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif.
(Paul Sakuma / AP)

To the editor: Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California suggested that climate change should be dealt with by branches of government other than the courts, as he ruled that cities cannot hold Big Oil responsible for the cost of harms arising from the use of the fossil fuels they legally sold.

However, I believe it is altogether appropriate to fix blame on Big Oil, and seek legal remedy, on the following basis: Scientists at Exxon-Mobil and others concluded decades ago that burning fossil fuels was leading to momentous changes in our planet. But Big Oil concealed the truth and contributed millions to the campaign to brand the science “unsettled.”

Rather than leading in the development of sustainable energy, these companies doubled down on fossil fuels, costing us many years of waffling on climate change. This is greed on a planetary scale, and it should have consequences.


Grace Bertalot, Anaheim

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