Officials from the state of California said this week that the Golden State is fighting oil giants Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and BP. This is another step in California’s fight against energy made from fossil fuels. In the lawsuit, the companies are blamed for things like wildfires, harmful smoke, heat waves, droughts, and the number of people who are homeless. Actually, I added the part about people who are homeless because they already blame oil companies for just about everything else.
Governor Gavin Newsom told them straight out that they were lying:
“Big Oil has been deceiving us for over 50 years, concealing the truth that they have long been aware of the harm that their produced fossil fuels pose to the environment,” according to Newsom. “California taxpayers should not have to shoulder the costs for billions of dollars worth of damage caused by things like wildfires that destroy whole towns, toxic smoke that fills the air and kills people, deadly heat waves, and record-breaking droughts that dry up our wells.”
A business group that was also named in the case, the American Petroleum Institute, slammed the move:
Ryan Meyers, the vice president of the institute, claimed in a statement, “This continuing, coordinated campaign to file baseless, politically driven lawsuits against a core American industry along with its workers is simply nothing more than a diversion from important national conversations as well as a huge waste of California taxpayer resources.”
In the lawsuit, the companies are accused of causing or adding to climate change in California. They are also accused of lying about climate change, damaging natural resources, and using illegal business practices in order to deceive the public.
Californians already pay the highest gas costs in the country, making it the fifth most costly state to live in. Gas prices are high for a number of reasons, such as the fact that refineries have to make a special blend of fuel that burns cleaner in the summer, but even the infamously liberal LA Times has to acknowledge that it is also due to the fact that Californians have been taxed to death.
“California is known as a high-tax state, and the income tax on a gallon of gas is part of that. The tax is changed every year to pay for planning, building, and preserving roads and public transportation.”
“The tax increased from 51.1 cents to 53.9 cents a gallon in the month of June 2022, making it the second highest rate after Pennsylvania.”
The aforementioned article was published by The Times in 2022; nevertheless, as of right now, California holds the record for the highest gas tax, at a staggering 77.9 cents a gallon. In 2022, the state passed a rule that says gas-powered cars can’t be sold after 2035. This added to the stress on the average person. Even though our energy grid is nowhere near strong enough to handle this type of demand.
California’s war on traditional forms of energy is so bad that the House of Representatives decided last week, 222-190, to overturn California’s environmental laws that required people to buy electric vehicles (EVs). Eight Democrats supported the bill.
California’s case looks like a way to show off, and it won’t help us get the energy we need. Most likely, lawyers on both sides will make a lot of money, but the public won’t get much out of it. Opponents of fossil fuels may shout and cry all they want, but if not for them, we would be cooking our meals over the fireplace in pitch-dark at night.