Environmentalists Hope to Bankrupt Fossil Fuel Companies Using Litigation

What environmentalists can’t accomplish in state legislatures and Congress they will attempt to do through the courts. Though green groups have sued to stop just about every Trump climate policy, in addition to hoping one municipal lawsuit going to trial would be getting environmental lawsuits transferred to state courts which would explode fossil fuel company legal caseloads.

Environmentalists see path to trial for climate nuisance cases after latest Big Oil loss

by Abby Smith, Energy and Environment Reporter, The Washington Examiner

ExxonMobil and other oil majors’ attempts to move climate lawsuits brought by cities and counties to federal court have repeatedly backfired, a setback environmentalist attorneys say all but guarantees at least one of the cases will go the distance.

Cities and counties from San Francisco to Boulder to Baltimore are seeking billions in damages to compensate for adapting to climate change effects, including sea level rise, intensified storms, and worsening wildfires.

The number of cases, already over a dozen, is growing, and environmental attorneys say the cities’ recent wins in the court venue fights could embolden more legal action. In late June, attorneys general in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., brought new lawsuits against Exxon. Washington’s lawsuit also includes other oil majors, such as BP and Shell, and Minnesota is also suing the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries.

“Normally it’s three strikes, and you’re out. I think they’re up against it,” said Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity of the oil companies. The Center for Climate Integrity, an initiative of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, works on litigation against fossil fuel companies.