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Minnesota AG Ellison sues oil companies over climate change

Attorney General Keith Ellison
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Attorney General Keith Ellison

In the Star Tribune, Mike Hughlett reports, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday sued ExxonMobil Corp., Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute, saying they have long deceived consumers over the effects of climate change. The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, includes claims of multiple violations of Minnesota laws, including fraud, deceptive trade practices and false statements in advertising. … ExxonMobil said the Minnesota lawsuit was a ‘politically motivated campaign’ against energy companies.”

MPR reports, “Minnesota’s now dealing with a virus cluster of roughly 100 cases in south-central Minnesota of people in their 20s who said they visited bars on June 12 and 13, Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, told reporters Wednesday. She didn’t say exactly where, or which bars. While those young people may be less likely to suffer complications from COVID-19, the concern is that they may be inadvertently spreading the disease to grandparents or other vulnerable populations.”

The AP reports: “Wisconsin’s governor activated the National Guard on Wednesday to protect state properties after a night of violence that included the toppling of two statues outside the State Capitol, one of which commemorated an abolitionist Civil War hero. … The violence broke out as a group of 200 to 300 people protested the arrest of a Black man who shouted at restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat.”

The Star Tribune’s Jennifer Bjorhus writes: “Environmentalists are suing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to ban copper mining in the watershed that flows into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). It’s the latest legal action amid the contentious push to open Minnesota to copper-nickel mining for the first time …. Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, a leading group in the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, filed its lawsuit Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court. ”

Says Riham Feshir for MPR, “The state agency that oversees licensing and standards for police officers is embarking on a comprehensive review of its policies that may lead to changes to licensing, complaint and discipline and pre-service training. Erik Misselt, the interim director of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, said the POST board’s policies haven’t kept up with the public’s expectations for police accountability. … Misselt said he’d like to see the POST board go to the state Legislature and ask for changes in state laws to broaden its authority.”

In the Pioneer Press, Bill Salisbury says, “Responding to George Floyd’s call out to his mother with his last breaths before he died in Minneapolis police custody last month, dozens of Black women are running for federal, state and city offices in Minnesota this year. More than 40 African-American women have ‘heard his cry and responded with their collective political power,’ Anika Bowie, vice president of the Minneapolis NAACP and an adviser to the organization Black Women Rising, said in a statement this week. Many of them are challenging incumbents in the Aug. 11 primary elections.”

WCCO-TV says, “The city of Minneapolis is seeking a disaster declaration from the federal government following the nights of looting and arson in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The city announced Wednesday that it’s seeking the declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which would be able to make low-interest loans to the businesses damaged the unrest.”

Says Sarah Brumble for City Pages, “Looks like the Kingfield neighborhood is in for a treatLauded chef Jorge Guzman has just announced Minneapolis has a new dining destination on the horizon, and he’ll be its chef and co-owner. The name? Petit León. …  The chef and native of Merida, Mexico, once ran Surly Brewer’s Table and was a finalist for a James Beard “Best Chef Midwest” award.”

In the Strib, Todd Nelson writes, “Having nearly 1,900 employees switch to working from home probably got done faster amid a global pandemic than it would have otherwise, according to the leader of Golden Valley-based Allianz Life. ‘We somewhat joked that if we had planned to do this it would have been a multi-month or multiyear process’, said CEO Walter White. … Some leaders can’t wait to get everyone back in the office. For others, positive results from this work-at-home experience have them considering it as part of a more flexible workplace policy in the future.”

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 06/25/2020 - 07:09 am.

    Its seems that there are two stories here that show two sides of our culture. On the one side they are willing to destroy the environment for short term profit, the other wants to preserve it for future generations. The profit side has been winning for a long long time, that needs to stop.

  2. Submitted by Peggy Reinhardt on 06/25/2020 - 09:12 am.

    More info on 40 black women running for office in 2020 in Minnesota

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 06/25/2020 - 09:55 am.

    Given that two or more states already have seen their claims against oil producers thrown out of court, I expect this case to have a similar fate. If I’m right, it certainly is primarily a political move, one that is entirely consistent with my belief that Keith Ellingson has his eye on becoming Minnesota’s first Black governor. I’m afraid that ambition guides too many of his actions, including some of his charging decisions in the killing of George Floyd.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/25/2020 - 11:21 am.

      An elected official with his eye on higher office? Unpossible!

      If the does run for another office, it’s likely to be plain old “Governor of Minnesota.” “First black Governor” is a coincidence, not an office.

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 06/25/2020 - 11:59 am.

      Ellison is bringing this action under Minnesota consumer fraud laws which was used successfully against the tobacco industry. If it’s political, it’s because the issue of climate change is political. The oil business has been political without accountability for decades. If corporate big business wishes to continue to do business in Minnesota or the United States, it’s going to have starting playing again according to the rule of law.

    • Submitted by AMY PERSON on 06/25/2020 - 02:26 pm.

      I remember when he left the US House and ran for this current position that he said he felt he could do more good for the country and MN from the more local position, so I expect this lawsuit was part of his plan.

  4. Submitted by Richard Owens on 06/25/2020 - 12:19 pm.

    You go General Elllison!

    I could see the genuine smile you showed on TV when a reporter asked you if you liked being able to take these actions. Remembering you told us serving as AG would allow you to actually get things done that House membership often frustrated.

    May you live long, serve long as AG, and show the Fossil Fuel giants (who bought our governments) that Minnesota will expose your lies in a court of law, and you will pay for your profits from extraction and pollution.


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