(Reuters) – The state of California has sued major oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Shell PLC, and Chevron Corp, accusing them of downplaying the risks of fossil fuels, according to a court filing on Friday.

California, which also targets BP and ConocoPhillips, accuses the energy giants of causing tens of billions of dollars in damages and misleading the public, the filing in a Superior Court in California shows. San Francisco.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry trade group, was also named as a defendant in the case. California is also calling for the creation of a fund to pay for future damages caused by climate-related disasters in the state.

The API, in an emailed response to Reuters, said climate policy should be debated and decided by Congress, not the judiciary.

Making the same argument, Shell said in an emailed statement: “We do not believe the courtroom is the right place to address the issue of climate change.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a post on X (formerly Twitter): “California is taking action to hold big polluters accountable.”

The lawsuit follows dozens of lawsuits filed in recent years against the fossil fuel industry by states and municipalities across the United States, generally alleging harm caused by the effects of climate, including extreme weather.

Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. Exxon Mobil could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh and Lavanya Ahire in Bangalore and Nate Raymond in Boston, Benjamin Mallet)

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