During an Politico podcast interview Sunday, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared that he is in talks with several private law firms about filing suit against big oil companies, claiming their products are killing people.
“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,” Schwarzenegger said.
“The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.”
Schwarzenegger said he’s still working on a timeline for filing, but the news comes as he prepares to help host a major environmental conference in May in Vienna.
“We’re going to go after them, and we’re going to be in there like an Alabama tick. Because to me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he said. “Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”
He argues that at the very least, this would raise awareness about fossil fuels and encourage people to look to alternative fuels and clean cars.
He added, “I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”