Climate Voices

June 24, 2020
By: Nicole Rom, Former Executive Director

Minnesota Goes After Polluters

Attorney General Keith Ellison
Attorney General Keith Ellison

On June 24, the State of Minnesota filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) for deceiving the public about climate change. It’s time to hold them accountable.

Exxon and Koch Industries have known since the 1960s that burning fossil fuels caused climate change — and the superstorms, flooding, and climbing temperatures that came with it. Rather than adjust their course and take the lead on transitioning to an equitable, clean energy economy, they’ve lied to the American people, engaging in a multi-billion dollar, decades-long disinformation campaign to delay climate action.

We applaud the Attorney General’s office for taking action to protect all Minnesotans and to hold these corporations accountable for decades of deception and the harm their lies have caused to threaten public health and block bold climate action.  

For too long, these industries have profited while escaping accountability for the impacts their business has on Minnesotans, and on society as a whole. They spread disinformation and specifically fund climate denialism in the classroom to protect their profits while the people of Minnesota have paid the price.

The impacts of environmental pollution and climate change often fall hardest on Black and Indigenous Minnesotans and other communities of color who are disproportionately affected by air pollution due to our existing social structures like inequitable access to health care, as well as disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards due to zoning and redlining. Climate accountability is a racial justice issue. These risks increase for future generations facing a worsening climate crisis long after these corporations cash in and walk away.

Enough is enough. We’re proud to see our state stand up for our health, economy and the truth to demand accountability for years of lies and manipulation.