Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to sue oil companies for murder, he said on a Politico podcast episode published Monday.
Schwarzenegger likened oil companies to tobacco companies continuing to sell cigarettes after becoming aware of their deleterious effects on users' health. "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."
The goal of the suit is to mandate health warning labels analogous to those on cigarette boxes. To "me it's absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco," Schwarzenegger 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."
Schwarzenegger seems to be referring to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which was settled in 1998, following four decades of health-related litigation against the the tobacco industry. The deal required large tobacco companies to make a number of changes to their business practices and to pay 46 states for the costs of treating tobacco-related illness in perpetuity.