New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday stood side-by-side with environmentalists as he unveiled his plan to sue five oil companies for damages supposedly caused by man-made global warming.
De Blasio blames five major oil companies, including ExxonMobil, for damages caused to New York City by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The mayor wants companies to pay for the damages and for future projects to make the city more resilient to flooding and storm surge.
But while environmentalists applauded de Blasio’s anti-oil effort, it fell flat among media outlets that have been covering his repeated use of SUVs and helicopters. Outlets were quick to point out de Blasio’s own hypocrisy when it came to fighting global warming.
New York Times writer Jim Dwyer pointed out the NYC mayor “regularly rides around town in an SUV” In fact, de Blasio regularly cruises around with a fleet of SUVs, including when he goes to the gym.
Dwyer pointed out that shortly after the announcement, de Blasio attended a prayer breakfast. His entourage left the gas-guzzlers “running while the mayor was inside, for about two hours,” Dwyer wrote.
The New York Observer called de Blasio an “Imperial Hypocrite.” the outlet pointed out that de Blasio has made excuses for taking a fleet of SUV’s to the gym five days a week. De Blasio’s fleet regularly includes GMC Yukon XL and a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, which only gets 20 miles per gallon.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out de Blasio for his past helicopter use, singling out an incident when he used a police helicopter from Brooklyn to Queens.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 11, 2018
Former New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, who now writes for ProPublica, pointed out that de Blasio has opposed policies environmentalists believe can cut emissions linked to global warming.
Revkin also asked a very important question: who used all the oil de Blasio is blaming for damaging New York City?
There’ll be heaps of retweets as @nycmayor di Blasio joins @oakland @sfgov in suing oil companies to pay for climate change costs. https://t.co/IM4Gyqg4Xh (@climatelawnews) But is he suing all the *users* of that oil? And.. 1/2
— Andy Revkin (@Revkin) January 10, 2018
New York City is not the first to sue oil companies over global warming. A handful of California local governments sued oil companies for selling fossil fuels that allegedly made sea level rise and extreme weather worse.
De Blasio’s anti-oil effort also includes a plan to divest New York City’s pension fund from fossil fuels over the next five years. Again, it’s a policy wholeheartedly endorsed by environmental groups, but one that doesn’t mean much if you continue to use oil to get from place to place.
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