Maryland capital sues oil, gas companies over climate change

February 23, 2021 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s capital city has filed a lawsuit against 26 oil and gas companies, saying their industry was taking the environment to a point where fighting climate change would be difficult.

The City of Annapolis filed the lawsuit Monday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, and names ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell among its defendants, the Capital Gazette reported Tuesday. Annapolis says it’s the 25th state or local government to file such a lawsuit.


Mayor Gavin Buckley’s office said in a statement on Tuesday that the city will argue the companies violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and other actions, including public and private nuisance and negligence.

“The companies worked to deceive people of the danger, hiding their knowledge and engaging in an intentional campaign to mislead the public about the science, proving the growing danger posed by fossil fuels,” Buckley told a news conference.

The City Council was informed of the lawsuit in a closed session following Monday’s council meeting.

Anne Arundel County is also considering similar litigation against oil and gas companies, County Executive Steuart Pittman said Tuesday during his weekly media briefing. Pittman pointed to the county’s 130 miles of coastline, parts of which are also at risk to rising sea levels.