Trump's Stacked Supreme Court Emboldens the Fossil Fuelers

America's fossil energy giants and their political minions have become really scrappy in their decades old fight to continue destroying our world.  No longer do they seem to fear either public outrage or their nation's now stacked Supreme Court.

Exxon Mobile, the owner of Canada's Imperial Oil/Esso, says its climate denial is protected speech under the 1st Amendment.

The US’s largest oil firm is asking the Texas supreme court to allow it to use the law, known as rule 202, to pursue legal action against more than a dozen California municipal officials. Exxon claims that in filing lawsuits against the company over its role in the climate crisis, the officials are orchestrating a conspiracy against the firm’s first amendment rights.

The oil giant also makes the curious claim that legal action in the California courts is an infringement of the sovereignty of Texas, where the company is headquartered.

Eight California cities and counties have accused Exxon and other oil firms of breaking state laws by misrepresenting and burying evidence, including from its own scientists, of the threat posed by rising temperatures. The municipalities are seeking billions of dollars in compensation for damage caused by wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events, and to meet the cost of building new infrastructure to prepare for the consequences of rising global temperatures.

Even the Covid-friendly governor of Texas is getting in on the action.

In a highly unusual move, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, has written to the all-Republican court – half of whose members he appointed – in support of Exxon. He accused the California litigants of attempting “to suppress the speech of eighteen Texas-based energy companies on the subject of climate and energy policies”.

“When out-of-state officials try to project their power across our border, as respondents have done by broadly targeting the speech of an industry crucial to Texas, they cannot use personal jurisdiction to scamper out of our courts and retreat across state lines,” Abbott wrote.

Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor and co-author of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, said Exxon had a long history of attempting to bully its critics into silence.

“They’re pushing their freedom of speech as an issue because more than any other company, it’s been proven by people like me and others that they have a track record of promoting half truths, misrepresentations and in some cases outright lies in the public sphere,” she said.

“This is so well documented that unless they can come up with some strategy to defend it, they’re in potentially pretty serious trouble.”

I'd boycott Esso if I could. They seem to be mainly in southeastern B.C. There's one station in Vancouver but none, it seems, on Vancouver Island.


  1. A better version of the Supremes issue their injunction:


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