California communities sue oil companies over sea-rise

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ― Three ocean-front California local governments are taking legal action against oil companies, saying oil giants have known for almost 50 years that fossil fuels are changing the climate and causing sea rise.

Northern California’s Marin and San Mateo counties and the city of Imperial Beach in Southern California filed the complaints July 17 in California Superior Court.

The claims name 37 companies producing oil, gas and coal. The Western State Petroleum Association industry group says it is monitoring the cases but does not comment on active litigation.

The claims allege that oil companies, since the 1970s, concealed the harm of fossil fuels to the atmosphere and fought regulation.

Officials in the three beach-front California communities say their residents already are experiencing flooding and higher tides from climate change and sea rise.

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