Has Canada’s Big Tobacco moment for Big Oil arrived?

Date: Monday, October 17, 2023
Complete Article: National Observer


Following a federal committee hearing that dragged a Suncor executive over the coals for his company’s plans to expand fossil fuel production, NDP MP Charlie Angus says now is the time to hold Big Oil accountable.

“Suncor CEO Rich Kruger, former vice-president of Exxon, testified to Parliament, and the message that we got from Suncor was very clear,” Angus said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “They have no intention of taking responsibility for the damage that they are doing to the planet and no intention of changing course even as our planet is on fire… This is Canada’s Big Tobacco moment.”

With states like California and Colorado suing oil and gas companies for suppressing climate science for decades despite knowing their products would lead to catastrophic impacts for the planet, Angus is drawing a direct comparison to the major lawsuits launched against Big Tobacco in the 1990s.

Those lawsuits led to the tobacco master settlement agreement, the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history that requires tobacco companies to pay $264 billion over 25 years for their role in pushing harmful products on a public they actively deceived.

[The fires of the summer of 2023 were] “the most painful wakeup that I think this country has ever had as far as the climate crisis” says award-winning author and journalist John Vaillant, whose latest book deals with the Fort McMurray wildfires.

“And it’s directly linked to the expansion of fossil fuel development,” he said. “And again, this was documented and understood by the late 1960s… [Big Oil] confirmed this danger and they pressed ahead endangering all of us.”

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