Chevron Sues A Brother Oil Company In Global Warming Fracas

By on February 8, 2018

February 8, 2018

The logic is unusual, but it’s logic just the same. Chevron has filed a third-party lawsuit against Statoil ASA, the Norwegian state oil company (majority owned by Norway). This follows a climate change and sea-level-rise lawsuit filed in the name of California residents against Chevron and numerous other oil industry giants, but not including Statoil. “Chevron,” says its complaint, “denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief on their Complaints. However, in the event that Chevron is held liable to Plaintiffs, Chevron is entitled to indemnity and/or contribution from Statoil.” The rationale for this lawsuit likely is in part procedural, says a Legal Newsline article, quoting a statement from the company: “Statoil’s presence,” it says, “indicates the global nature of the issues and the necessity of the federal courts to properly maintain jurisdiction over the lawsuits.” Chevron’s tactics in terms of aggressiveness are comparable to strategy that’s been employed by ExxonMobil, another defendant in the CA litigation, as explained in another Legal Newsline article published in Forbes. ExxonMobil in its lawsuit accuses government officials in some CA jurisdictions of failing to disclose climate change risk in certain bond offerings – thereby, in addition to contradicting their own ostensible views on climate change, misleading potential investors. As for the larger issue of climate change, in its carefully worded complaint Chevron makes its case that, to the extent climate change may be taking place and is caused or exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels, the responsible parties include not only other producers, but investors, manufacturers, sovereign states, other government entities “and individuals around the world who actually consume and burn the fossil fuels that Plaintiffs allege give rise to global warming and the sea-level rise of which Plaintiffs complain.” Green house gases, the complaint somewhat archly points out, “generally are not released from fossil fuels until the fuels are burned or otherwise consumed.”

One Comment

  1. Bill Baldwin

    February 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Chevron, Exxon et al also might
    1. bring a third party class action against all California residents who contribute to global warming by using gasoline, heating oil, etc.
    2. third party the state of California which probably uses a pile of global warming causing petroleum (and California tort claims act if needed) and which has laid down a pile of warming causing asphalt
    3. class action third party against all of the developers who built any parking lots for their share of the warming created by development (“they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”)
    4. make a federal tort claim for whatever the company must pay in california as a result of the lawsuit — think of what the Army, Navy, Air Force add
    5. third party the airlines and the airplane manufacturers who make the things that burn all of that jet fuel and
    6. bring a counterclaim for contribution against every plaintiff for their contribution and
    7. move to reduce any final judgment by the amount by which water vapor (one of the worst global warming gases, but one which mere mortals can control by any meaningful way) contributes to global warming
    8. move to dismiss for failure to join indispensable parties (everyone on the planet who ever burned anything)

    and most of all: Let the good times roll!

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