Green Visions: Minnesota demanding a return to "truth, justice, and accountability"

Apr 7, 2021

Credit Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

No one's particularly surprised to discover a big corporation or entity is lying to the public.

Actually, we kind of expect it.

But Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is blowing past that kind of defeatism by filing suit last summer against Big Oil, charging they knew in the '60s about climate change, deliberately lied to Minnesotans about it, and made about $775 billion dollars in the process.

The fossil fuel companies had hoped to move their case to federal court, asserting that it was a suit about climate change and most appropriately tried there.

But a federal judge disagreed and ruled the case will remain in Minnesota's courts and face the state's tough comsumer protection laws - and it's request for the full $775 billion in reparations.   U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim wrote that the "Court declines Defendants' invitation to interpret this well-pleaded consumer protection action as a wholesale attack on all features of global fossil fuel extraction, production and policy."

MN350 is an organization fighting the pollution that's led to climate change and spearheading efforts to transition to clean renewable energy.  Their Ella Johnson says she thinks the lawsuit stands a good chance of success, especially in light of the state's win against another "untouchable": Big Tobacco.