Description: Lawsuit alleging that utility and natural gas supplier misleadingly advertised its natural gas products and services as clean and sustainable.
Client Earth v. Washington Gas Light Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/28/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Alleged that Marketing of Natural Gas as Clean and Sustainable Violated D.C. Consumer Protection Law. Client Earth and two other organizations filed a lawsuit under the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) alleging that Washington Gas Light Company falsely and deceptively marketed its natural gas products and services as “clean” and sustainable. They alleged that the utility and supplier of natural gas capitalized on consumer demand for reducing reliance on fossil fuels by marketing its products this way, including with statements that use of natural gas was a “key driver” of greenhouse gas reductions in D.C. and that natural gas provides “low carbon” energy that would help D.C. reach carbon neutral status. The plaintiffs alleged that natural gas is harmful to the environment and that its use “is not what reasonable consumers would consider ‘clean,’ … especially because it releases far more emissions than alternatives like renewable energy sources would.” They further alleged that Washington Gas’s natural gas products were “decidedly not ‘low carbon,’” and that Washington Gas’s disclosures that its low-carbon gas supply was 0% in 2018 and was planned to increase to 2% by 2025 “demonstrate just how misleading their ‘sustainability’ statements to consumers are.” They asked the District of Columbia Superior Court to make a declaration that Washington Gas’s conduct was in violation of the CPPA and to enjoin the conduct found to be in violation of the CPPA. They also sought costs disbursements, including attorneys’ fees.