Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Nine Cities And Counties Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

by Countable | 1.24.18

What’s the story?

Since the summer of 2017 a growing list of cities and counties are filing lawsuits against oil companies over climate change. The suits allege that the companies knowingly engaged in business that was detrimental to each localities economy, infrastructure and environment, violating state "nuisance laws". Some seek unspecified damages, some seek for the companies to fund climate change mitigation efforts.

Most are seeking to use the verifiable rise in sea level, which is attributed to global warming, to support their cases.

Here’s the current list of plaintiffs:

San Francisco, CA

Oakland, CA

Richmond, CA

Marin County, CA

San Mateo County, CA

Imperial Beach, CA

Santa Cruz (city), CA

Santa Cruz County, CA

New York, NY

Supporters are calling the lawsuits the next big strategy in combating climate change, mirroring prior tactics used against Big Tobacco, but critics question the validity of the plaintiffs legal claims. Energy attorney Scott Segal told the Washington Post the suits were unlikely to succeed because any one company could not be pinned with specific causation:

"Commentators have suggested that nuisance law, a relative backwater in property law, is based upon conditions in which there are distinct producers and recipients of pollution. However, in the case of global climate change, a molecule of carbon is literally around the world in seven days. The requisite causation needed for nuisance suits is missing and unprovable."

What do you think?

Do you support these suits or not? Do you think they’re a potentially effective way to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for their part in advancing global climate change, or do you think the suits are misguided?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons )

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(126)
  • Yvonne
    01/25/2018
    ···

    I think it is so important to let the president know that we disagree with his outdated and unscientific view of climate change. I think that we should join this lawsuit, if possible. We need to do something about this issue or we will no longer be here to learn from our mistakes.

    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
  • Marylynn
    01/25/2018
    ···

    They should include the Liar in Chief in their lawsuits since he's undone all the regulations put in place by the previous administration. Greed is what fuels this administration, look at who's the Sec. of State, the oil tycoon Rex Tillerson. Let's have a look at all the lawmakers stock portfolios and I guarantee you they all hold fossil fuel stock, I'm sure mineral stock as well. These greedy lawmakers don't care about the destruction of our air, earth and water. They're only concern is making themselves richer. And then they make tax laws to make themselves even more wealthy...

    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
  • Deirdre
    01/24/2018
    ···

    I agree with this. Since the government isn’t doing its job it’s up to states, cities and the American people and the courts to do so

    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
  • Pru
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Big oil is on its way out! Take the 30 % tariff off solar components and foster a strong solar energy production. Create jobs!

    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
  • Ed
    01/25/2018
    ···

    California & NY are only states with cities involved. More liberal nonsense wasting the courts time

    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
  • Vince
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Get outta here with this nonsense. You're going to sue a company for pollution even though your entire life depends on the products it produces? Can you be any less self-aware?

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Justin
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Anyone remember the big news about the 2 Japanese scientists that made a car that ran on water ? Anyone guess who bought them & made that tech disappear? Let big oil take it up the tail pipe ! The tech exists that cars & homes could collect there own Hydrogen!

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • RadicalModerate
    01/25/2018
    ···

    The oil companies control national policy, resulting in the poisoning of our air, soil and water. This is what free market capitalism has done to Mother Earth. Lawsuits are the free market capitalism way of letting those who can afford it, to get away with murder.

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Niki
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Love that local governments are taking action. But am really angry that congress and this illegitimate administration are abandoning their responsibility and the American people in regard to our environment.

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • TheJacobin
    01/25/2018
    ···

    We need to get serious about Climate Change. If this won’t get politicians’ attention, I don’t know what will.

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • Chuck
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Another frivolous lawsuit to waste taxpayer money. As if we don’t have enough of our money being wasted.

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • anitachiquita
    01/25/2018
    ···

    I really don't think this lawsuit will go anywhere. There is MUCH better uses for taxpayer money.

    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
  • Michael
    01/25/2018
    ···

    This is nothing more then liberals bullies. When they don’t get their way the take their case to the liberal judges who know longer follow law but go with political correctness. Not one dime to pay these thugs. Trump got us out of that ridiculous Paris agreement that spent $82 trillion in its completion and would only get a 3° C difference in global warming. In two days there will be a 3° difference in temperature and it won’t cost us anything. Don’t give these bums anything!

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Ronald
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Let the people in these cities/counties walk or bike to work from home, heat their homes and offices with dried cattle dung, do without electricity, and live without all those plastic bottles $4.00 a pint water comes in. Bunch of wild eyed Liberal Progressive snivelers who have absolutely no concept of energy, capitalism, or the real world. They have absolutely no comprehension of first person research and instead believe every spun up and hyped piece of biased pontification with their eyes completely closed to the truth. Pretty shameful.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jim2423
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Climate Change is invertible, we have had it many times even without oil companies. But suing is just a way for lawyers to make money. It does not benefit the residents or consumer one bit. What a waste of money on attorneys.

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
  • wicked-italian
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Good. I support the polluter pays principle and hope more cities, counties and eventually states join these law suits. There is evidence big oil understood the health and environmental risks yet proceeded to extract and sell to maximize profits. Win or lose, the facts will become part of the public record and discourse.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Dale
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Litigating climate change is totally INSANE !!! Climate change is an obvious fraud. Hopefully countersuits will bankrupt a few cities with unhinged officials.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    01/25/2018
    ···

    California probably is Included in this Crazy Suit!

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • James
    01/24/2018
    ···

    That’s not going anywhere!

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • UseYourBrains
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Waste of time and money.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share