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Why Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Suing Oil Companies?

Former California governor, actor seeks warnings at gas stations, on cars and pumps

AUSTIN, Texas -- Actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing to file lawsuits against major oil companies for selling a product that is “killing people,” the former California governor and star of "The Terminator" movie franchise told Politico at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Schwarzenegger said he is in talks with several private law firms and preparing a public push around the effort.

“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 told the news outlet during a podcast. “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.”

He said, “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.”

Schwarzenegger said he is still working on a timeline for filing the lawsuits, said the report.

“To me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco [does],” he said. “Every gas station, every car should have a warning label on it. Every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”

Schwarzenegger is preparing to help host a major environmental conference in Vienna. The second R20 Austrian World Summit will take place May 15, 2018, in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. It is an initiative to create a network platform that will help regions, states and cities implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and meet the global climate protection targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. The first R20 Austrian World Summit was held at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace in 2017 with more than 700 participants from 50 nations.

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