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AG Rob Bonta Announces Investigation into Oil Companies’ Role in ‘Causing Global Plastics Pollution Crisis’

Exxonmobil, was the first to be issued a subpoena on Thursday

By Evan Symon, April 29, 2022 2:31 am

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Thursday that he would be launching a state investigation into the role of oil and gas companies into the world’s global plastics pollution crisis.

In his announcement Bonta said that fossil fuel and petrochemical companies had for decades “aggressively promoted the development of oil-based plastic products and campaigned to minimize the public’s understanding of the harmful consequences of these products.” As part of his investigation into looking at any historic or present deception tactics or law violations, Bonta added that some companies would be issued subpoenas for them to be questioned about their roles in the crisis. One company, Exxonmobil, was the first to be issued a subpoena on Thursday.

“In California and across the globe, we are seeing the catastrophic results of the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long campaign of deception. Plastic pollution is seeping into our waterways, poisoning our environment, and blighting our landscapes,” said Attorney General Bonta on Thursday. “Enough is enough. For more than half a century, the plastics industry has engaged in an aggressive campaign to deceive the public, perpetuating a myth that recycling can solve the plastics crisis. The truth is: The vast majority of plastic cannot be recycled, and the recycling rate has never surpassed 9%. Every week, we consume the equivalent of a credit card’s worth of plastic through the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. This first-of-its-kind investigation will examine the fossil fuel industry’s role in creating and exacerbating the plastics pollution crisis – and what laws, if any, have been broken in the process.”

Those in support of investigating the companies applauded Bonta’s efforts on Thursday, noting that since plastic usage first took off in the 1950’s, it has exploded in use worldwide, brings tens of millions of tons of plastic into oceans each year, and has increasingly threatened human health and cause environmental damage.

“For too long, ExxonMobil and other corporate polluters have been allowed to mislead the public and harm people and the planet,” said Graham Forbes of Greenpeace USA on Thursday. “It is encouraging to see the state of California stand up to the fossil fuel industry. Hopefully, this is a sign that policymakers are ready to start holding corporations accountable.”

However opponents noted that while plastic usage has gone up, so has plastic recycling and other methods to reduce plastic usage, despite recent findings that found plastic recycling to be infeasible.

“It’s a major problem to be sure. There’s no real denying that. When scientists find microplastics inside every animal they look at, including humans, you know that it’s a problem,” explained Rebecca Knauss, an Australian environmental consultant, to the Globe on Thursday. “But, the thing is, the damage is done. You can cry deception all you want, but even if it is true, at the end of the day we have a problem. Recycling helps, but as studies recently have pointed out, there may be some problems with it and we can’t solely be looking there. We need to look at plastic biodegradation too, and we have made strides there. A lot of strides. We have enzymes now that can break down some plastics 6 times as faster as before, and we are only improving on that.”

“What I tell people when they go after oil companies is that they should put funding into these programs. It’s not like a tobacco company building a new wing of a hospital, but more like being given community service. You have regulations on you to make sure that your role in the problem are open and also help try and correct it. The environment improves, solutions to once impossible problem are found. The companies are punished, but at the same time they get some good publicity for what they are doing. Even better, having to put more money into greener tech and research means a better transition into green energy. Tobacco companies are finding a second wind in several countries by moving into vaping and marijuana. With going green becoming big, the plastics crisis could be the thing petroleum companies need to start transitioning over more as oil supplies go down.”

As of Thursday, only ExxonMobil has been given subpoenas, although other oil and gas companies are likely to follow soon.

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10 thoughts on “AG Rob Bonta Announces Investigation into Oil Companies’ Role in ‘Causing Global Plastics Pollution Crisis’

  1. “In California and across the globe, we are seeing the catastrophic results of the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long campaign of deception.”

    Either this is AG Bonta’s personal vendetta with Big Oil, or it’s his career dream of hitting the big-time with the global climate crisis gang.
    Whatever his motivation, I don’t think “catastrophic” means what he thinks it means, at least with “plastics pollution”.
    Now, if the Attorney General wants to talk “illegal immigration”, there’s a real catastrophe.

  2. I dream of a day when we will no longer have to listen to corrupt and unelected politicians like A.G. Rob Bonta lecture us about plastic and other bogus “crises,” especially in light of the dozens of other eternally-pressing problems that continue to plague California, all brought to us and made worse by Bonta and his Clones.
    Excellent candidates are running for Atty General against this clown. Nathan Hochman, Anne Marie Schubert, Eric Early. Pick one and vote in June. Oh, what a difference ANY of them as Atty General would make in this state —– yes, even in just that one office!

    1. Agree, Showandtell. And let’s not forget California Secretary of State (get rid of Weber) or Controller (Yee is not running; vote for Lanhee Chen).

      1. Yes, Raymond, Lanhee Chen for Controller, definitely. Controller is also an “underrated” but very important office. If you like someone in particular for S.O.S., or more than one, please let us know. Haven’t had a chance to research the Repub (or NPP) candidates yet. The Repubs are Rob Bernosky, Rachel Hamm, James “JW” Paine, Raul Rodriguez, Jr. NPP candidate is Matthew D. Cinquanta.

  3. This administration does everything it possibly can to counter the well-being of Californians. Maybe he should be
    looking at lung damage from micro-plastics in vaccines causing lung damage or chemtrails and manufactured weather (yes, John Brennan admitted to it at CFR) that has created drought conditions. How about suing EAC for certifying voting machines that allowed wifi connections for the steal? Or working with other states to secure the border?

  4. All great points above, but let’s put one MORE out there….

    Since when is California the world’s policeman, and allowed to file frivolous lawsuits for perceived injustices that are outside of the legal boundaries of California???

    “California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Thursday that he would be launching a state investigation into the role of oil and gas companies into the world’s global plastics pollution crisis.”

    Uh, Bonta? You’re not the GLOBAL Attorney General (although I’m sure Klaus Schwab has promised you a prominent role on his “Build Back Better” centralized government, along with Young Global Leader, Gavin Newsom…

    Why don’t you file suit against Dominion Voting Systems for the security exploits that are discussed and swept under the rug from pages 21-29 at https://votingsystems.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vendors/dominion/dvs510staff-report.pdf

    Pay particular attention to this : “…one potential vulnerability was
    discovered and the level of access required to take advantage of this potential
    vulnerability would be open to a variety of actors including a voter, a poll worker, an
    election official insider, and a vendor insider. This potential vulnerability has a more
    widespread potential. Polling place procedural controls are one method of mitigating this
    issue, with poll workers actively verifying that the USB ports are covered and the covers
    sealed to prevent access.”

    And be on the lookout for instances of “SLI believes it would be possible to inject more lethal payloads into the installers given the opportunity. This would require an insider with unhindered access to the
    system to edit the source code.” and MULTIPLE instances of “The findings can be
    mitigated by rigorous adherence to physical security processes and procedures, which
    would preclude the introduction of any malicious applications.”

  5. Investigate China for dumping plastic recycling into the ocean. Yes it really appears this is the case based on tracking of date coded waste.

    1. Yes! Exactly.
      But our dear leader would never cross his overlords, the CCP and WEF.
      Instead, blame it on the “dirty” oil that has given us a a great modern life.
      BTW, do ya think the plastic mystery BYD masks ever made it to our shores?

  6. Notice the press release doesn’t mention what alternatives should be used in the place of plastics. Maybe paper IV drug delivery systems. Or perhaps all-metal car parts resulting in more fuel use. Or maybe those pesky infant and child protective seats used in our cars. Dumb AZZ

  7. Incinerators can burn plastic cleanly and produce energy. Not a choice the anti-energy people want but it is the solution in my opinion.

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