New York City joins the California municipalities of Imperial Beach, San Fransisco and Oakland cities along with Marin and San Matteo counties in suing British Petroleum (BP), Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell accusing them of hiding the research of their own scientists knowing that burning fossil fuels causes climate change.
According to The New York Times, New York City’s lawsuit seeks to hold the five accused oil companies responsible for the billions of dollars New York City has and will spend to address the effects of events like hurricane Sandy that New York City attributes to human induced climate change resulting from fossil fuel use.
During 2015, the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General initiated investigations into Exxon-Mobil. They accused the oil company of lying to investors about how the Exxon-Mobil accounts for the impact of climate change on its business.
Though it maybe many years before any of the municipalities’ complaints can be resolved, one thing is for sure, none of these lawsuits or investigations are about addressing the effects of climate change. The litigation and inquisition are really about liberal municipalities seeking bribe money from the aforementioned mentioned oil companies in order for the plaintiffs to fund infrastructure projects.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing to force oil companies to pay for sea walls and other projects in order to allegedly protect their coastlines from rising sea levels which are attributed to human-caused climate change. While the costs of such efforts aren’t known, not surprisingly, they will probably carry a price-tag in the billions of dollars.
All of the cities and counties suing the above mentioned oil companies come from states with huge tax burdens and population drains to boot. Rather than raise taxes, municipalities resort to litigation seeing oil and gas companies as a pool of money to soak in order to employ their politically-correct friends. If they are successful the politicians behind the litigation are able to get on the six o’clock news and the cover of local, state and national newspapers in order to assume the mantle of maverick climate crusaders.
Fortunately, Exxon-Mobile is pushing back, challenging the evidence the California municipalities are using in order to justify their suits against Exxon. Hopefully, the other companies listed in the lawsuits will do the same.
What should give everyone pause is what senior lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council Eric Goldstein told The New York Times after New York City’s suit was filed. Goldstein said it was a classic example of impact litigation that’s designed to upend the existing order. In other words, environmentalists hope the lawsuit will be one more way to force their political agenda on everyone else.