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Schwarzenegger plans to sue oil companies for 'knowingly killing people all over the world

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Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he plans to sue oil companies for allegedly "knowingly killing people all over the world."(Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) talked about global warming Sunday at SXSW and announced his intentions to sue oil companies for "knowingly killing people all over the world."

Schwarzenegger, who was in Austin, Texas, over the weekend for the annual festival, said he's talking to private law firms about his plans but hasn't decided when he will begin the push. SXSW is an interactive film and music industries festival that runs through March 18.

"This is no different from the smoking issue," Schwarzenegger said during a live recording of Politico's "Off Message" podcast. "The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades that smoking would harm people, would kill 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 billions of dollars because of that.”

Listen to the interview here:

The action movie star and global environmental activist alleged that the oil companies have acted negligently for decades.

“The oil companies knew from 1959 on. They did their own study and knew that there would be global warming and climate change happening because of fossil fuels. And on top of it, it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill people and they would get cancer ... ,” Schwarzenegger said.

"It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and to not have a warning label on it like they do on tobacco," he continued. "Every gas station should have a warning label on it every car should have a warning label, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”

The 70-year-old, who said he wants people to seek alternative fuels and drive clean cars, went so far as to call the oil companies murderers.

“I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder," he said. "I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”

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