Arnold Schwarzenegger Taking On Big Oil, Plans Legal Action To Stop Further Environmental Destruction

Olivier DoulieryGetty Images

Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is accusing Big Oil of “knowingly killing people” by causing tremendous environmental damage. In response, the world famous bodybuilder plans to file lawsuits, contending Big Oil has a history of producing a dangerous product while continuing a campaign of denial and secrecy.

During a live session of Politico’s Off Message podcast at the 2018 SXSW festival, Schwarzenegger said he is working with several law firms on potential legal action against the fossil fuel industry. To him, Big Oil is not any different from tobacco companies.

Both industries make products that harm both the environment and people’s lives. A specific timeline has not been established for the lawsuits, but the actor is unquestionably committed to going to battle.

“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.”

Part of Schwarzenegger’s agenda is to require warning labels on products related to fossil fuels, including gas pumps and cars. He does admit the lawsuits may end up going nowhere, but they will bring needed attention to the adverse effects of fossil fuels on the environment and humans.

Global warming brought on by Big Oil, according to Schwarzenegger.
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is accusing Big Oil of causing climate change.Featured image credit: Carlos AlvarezGetty Images

Schwarzenegger said tobacco companies have produced a dangerous product for years and ultimately had to pay large sums of money as punishment. It is now time for the oil industry to do something similar by taking responsibility for causing detrimental environmental changes, he argues.

“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.”


In addition to the Big Oil legal action announcement, Schwarzenegger took a moment to joke about President Donald Trump during the podcast. The actor teased the new Terminator movie, set to start filming this summer, was re-written to include a part for the president.

“The T-800 model that I play, he’s traveling back in time to 2019 to get Trump out of prison,” Schwarzenegger said, as quoted by Politico.

He later got serious again by urging Ohio Governor John Kasich to try another run for president in 2020. The former head of California also encouraged the Republican Party to start paying attention to “what people want,” instead of being “stuck with an ideology that doesn’t really fit anymore.”

While speaking during the SXSW event, Arnold Schwarzenegger also talked about the Me Too movement and the importance of stopping sexual harassment. The actor said he learned a lot about leadership and how to get things done during his seven years as California’s governor.