Federal Judge: There Is No Big Oil Conspiracy to Suppress Truth About Climate Change

Big Oil Andrew Vaughan, AP
Andrew Vaughan/AP

here is no Big Oil conspiracy to suppress the truth about “climate change,” a federal judge in California has ruled.

According to Michael Bastasch at Daily Caller:

San Francisco and Oakland filed suit against five major companies, including Exxon and Chevron, demanding money for damages global warming allegedly caused. A core component of their suit is fossil fuel companies “engaged in a large-scale, sophisticated advertising and public relations campaign” to promote fossil fuels while they “knew” their products would contribute to “dangerous global warming.”

The cities’ suits against oil companies, however, do not show an industry conspiracy to suppress climate science from the public, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said, according to journalists who attended the hearing.

Alsup said plaintiffs “shows nothing of the sort” regarding some sort of conspiracy against science, Conservative journalist Phelim McAleer tweeted.

This ruling, so early in the trial, may well have come as a shock to the plaintiffs. Judge Alsup, after all, was a Bill Clinton appointment, operating in the most eco-friendly state, California. He might therefore have been open to persuasion by the green narrative.

The case owes its origins to a little-publicized gathering of leading climate alarmists in La Jolla, California in 2012.

I reported the background here:

The story begins in 2012 in sunny La Jolla, California. A group of key figures from the Green Blob—academics, professional activists, lawyers, scientists, PR agency heads—have gathered to discuss the heist of the century. Their plan is to terrorise big business with a form of environmentalist blackmail, which they will use, in the manner of a Mafia-style protection racket to bully their target companies (with the help of tame lawyers and complicitous government officials) into handing over millions, if not billions, of dollars. This Danegeld will end up being paid to environmental campaign groups of the kind they work for themselves, thus funding yet more vexatious, money-grubbing actions against still more blameless companies.

And the cleverest thing of all is, this heist isn’t even illegal. Environmentalists have been getting away with this sort of thing for years.

You actually know what happens next because you’ll have read it, splashed all over the mainstream media in what became a campaign called “Exxon Knew.” Hillary Clinton (who was then Secretary of State) demanded an investigation into it; a group of alarmist scientists wrote to President Obama demanding he launch a RICO prosecution of Exxon; two supposedly major journalistic exposes were published at Inside Climate News and theLA Times, then eagerly endorsed in such publications as Scientific American and the Guardian.

The plan, in other words, is to use lawfare to assault the fossil fuel industry using the same playbook that was once used to attack the tobacco industry.

This may backfire.

Big oil companies have hitherto been very reluctant to defend themselves against the green movement. A very rare exception was when Chevron successfully fought off a $9.5 billion lawsuit brought by eco-activists representing groups in Ecuador. More usually, though, Big Oil’s policy has been to buy off criticism with green Danegeld (eg Shell sponsoring the Guardian‘s environment pages for many years) and to settle rather than fight in the courts.

But now that green lawfare is on the up and up , Big Oil – even Rex Tillerson’s risk-averse Exxon – may have no choice but to fight back hard.

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