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'Watershed Moment for Climate Liability' as Rhode Island Files Historic Lawsuit Against 21 Big Oil Companies


'Watershed Moment for Climate Liability' as Rhode Island Files Historic Lawsuit Against 21 Big Oil Companies

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

In what advocates are calling a "watershed moment" for climate litigation, Rhode Island's Democratic Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced on Monday that the state has filed a lawsuit against 21 major oil companies—including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell—"for knowingly contributing to climate change, and causing catastrophic consequences to Rhode Island, our economy, our community, our residents, our ecosystems."


I’m pleased my state, RI, is taking this on, and the state’s environment community is on board in supporting this. And while there are some other pro-environment moves in RI, it should be noted our political leaders climate change policies are a mixed bag. Our leaders also supported the energy-intensive sprawl-inducing move of much of Citizens Bank workforce out of the metro area to the woods of the western part of the state; there is a huge new subsidy for car travel; they are not blocking proposed new fossil fuel infrastructure; despite being the “Ocean State” the state isn’t doing anything to protect the oceans from plastic pollution…
So 2 cheers for Mr AF Kilmartin and the team!


Thank You RI

Speaking Truth to Power Changes the Conversation.


All is essentially good here, but I must add that the INDIVIDUAL members of the community, each and every motor vehicle driving and owning citizen, not only of RI, but everywhere in the country, bears a heavy responsibility in the scenario. In effect, where were/are their brains and other parts of their awareness in this issue? Poor little victims!


I’d like to see Josh Stein, the NC AG sign on to this suit.


You’ve stated the real “inconvenient truth.”
All of us are slaves on the petroindustrial plantation, but few of us adjust our lifestyles to minimize our use of fossil fuels and products made from them.
Of particularly egregious note are:

  • leaf blowers and weed whackers.
  • boats and jet skis
  • large vehicles
  • long-distance commuting
  • cavalier use of air travel
  • sitting in parking lots for hours with the motor running while wanking and texting
  • pleasure driving
  • road trips
  • eating animals
  • large families
  • pathological selfishness

None of these lifestyle choices are necessities, but Americans have bought into them and almost all are eager customers of the evil fossil fuel industries.
It’s easy to point the finger at the fossil fuel companies and crucify them for the wrongs they do, which are many.
Like cigarettes, their products when used as directed kill people. They also kill the biosphere.
But until each of us does everything possible to refrain from using gasoline and participating in the petro grid, we’re all guilty.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”


Rhode Island is a state? Never heard of it. Is it off the coast somewhere? Does the state have anyone that’s famous or something? We’ll, if it’s ‘no’ to at least two of those questions, then it’s just a publicity stunt by some off name State that will just be wasting taxpayers money trying to look tough and make their inflation rate sky rocket. Big Oil has at least one big bank backing them…maybe two. Good luck Whatever Island, wherever you are.


Yes, I certainly am/have been lazy in my original response. So, the list on the “change culture” agenda could be expanded enormously. I think one area that could really be impacted/could impact (choose the generator!) are the educational institutions, the teachers, the culture transmitters in the media, etc. May the firebombs of language be loaded , and the instagram/facebook temples of egocentrism be burned to the brain core source of their faith systems.


Your comment is one reason I love Common Dreams.
Of all the “liberal” websites, Common Dreams has the most educated and deep people.
If you say these kinds of things on Mother Groans, Politico, Raw Story, Alternet, The Hill, etc. you get banned.
They can’t handle the truth.


Thanks for your compliment. Irony is, the audience/clientelle from your list of venues wouldn’t necessarily “get it” from the “get go”! But thanks for the compliment -


Those “audiences/clientele” don’t want to “get it from the get go” or forever. Most are partisans who view politics like they view professional sports, with their team always being right and the other team always being wrong…abhoring critical thinking while clinging to groupthink.

The financialization of everything in Murka means that any political party that starts getting enough votes will be purchased by the same corporations that own the Dims and GOP. Unless we can get money out of politics, having political parties is the way forward for the 1% and the way backwards for the 99%.


Words are “dangerous” little critters, they generate their own momentum. How do you “grab” a child’s attention? Anything and everything works, but with very different consequences for different techniques. The old debate: candy rewards ($$), “affection” rewards (honors, plaudits, media moments, etc.), spanking (economic failure) – you are typing simultaneously - very easy to slip into “ain’t it awful”. Russian society moved its world massively in just one year, 1917. That’s been written about extensively. America needs its own 1917, painful as that might seem. I’m begging off at this point, our conversation does have a limited venue!


The camera operator was asleep?


Greenpeace sure will have it’s hands full taking on big oil. Not one of these Planet poisoner CEO’s were ever locked up. I wishbthem good luck, but can’t count on anything good. We are too corrupt to uphold any law. Remember, we have a liar in cheif who’s way above the law. Just ask him.


Agreed. At least we have a forum for discussion here as well as the best relevant news. The other site are hacks that steal headlines from each other


That is one very good reason, among others, to financially support Common Dreams and encourage others to join-in to support responsible truthful community news!

If we all pitched-in and gave a little we will assure the viability of the resource - and home - we have come to rely-on.


Anti-Geoengineering Legislation Effort In Rhode Island Continues



F 2017

Introduced By:
Representative Justin Price

Referred To:
House Environment and Natural Resources



Sue big oil, that’s a knee slapping riot of a laugher. If successful the price of fuel at the pump will skyrocket.


check out what else your state is leading on w above link


THANK YOU little Rhode Island! T
The fact that your state bird is the Rhode Island Red Hen—is just wonderful A productive bird in commerce too.NOW lay those eggs and leave all the OILY ones with EGG on their faces.

Some are skeptical----but remember ---- Rhode island was named after the island of Rhodes-----and remember too that ancient land built the COLOSSUS when they won the war and knocked over the giant siege tower. America’s Statue of Liberty idea came from that ancient Colossus statue.
NOW--------- take that siege history and egg America on -----and make America GRATEFUL again for having politicians with nerve and vision to match!