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Monday, May 28, 2018
HomeColumnsAlaska missing in multi-state effort to fend off climate change lawsuit

Alaska missing in multi-state effort to fend off climate change lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO AND OAKLAND SUING OIL COMPANIES

BY CRAIG MEDRED
CRAIGMEDRED.NEWS

Fourteen oil-and-gas producing states joined Indiana to support the major oil companies as they fend off a climate change lawsuit by San Fransisco and Oakland.

Hawkins

Alaska is not among them.

Although the potential threat to state oil revenues is huge, the Alaska Department of Law says it isn’t participating because it never got invited to intervene. 

The two California cities want BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell to establish a fund to pay the costs of repairing local infrastructure that might be affected by global warming. The costs could be in the billions in California alone.

Chevron, the lead defendant in the case, tried to get the suit dismissed on the grounds it targets oil and gas production when the real issue in the climate debate is carbon dioxide emissions from the use of those fuels.

“CHEVRON’S LAWYER, SPEAKING FOR MAJOR OIL COMPANIES, SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL AND IT’S YOUR FAULT,” The Verge headlined after U.S. District Judge William Aslup held a March hearing.

Since then, more communities and counties around the country have trooped into the federal courts with lawsuits mimicking those filed by San Fransisco and Oakland. Boulder and San Miguel counties in Colorado last week sued Exxon Mobil and Suncor, a Canadian oil company, claiming the Western snowpack was shrinking, hurting the state’s water supply and agriculture, and threatening its $5 billion ski industry.

TEARING A PAGE FROM TOBACCO LAWSUITS

The litigation is similar to that filed against tobacco companies years ago. San Fransisco and Oakland argue the oil companies knew about global warming and yet continued to produce oil and gas in a way that constitutes “a ‘public nuisance’ that the federal judiciary should enjoin.”

To amend for willfully contributing to global warming, the pioneering lawsuit argues, the companies should be required “to fund a climate change adaptation program for San Francisco consisting of the building of sea walls, raising the elevation of low-lying property and buildings and building such other infrastructure as is necessary for San Francisco to adapt to climate change.”

The suit argues the oil companies “borrowed the Big Tobacco playbook in order to promote their products.”

[Read more at CraigMedred.news]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Yes, but our Global Warming Czarina, a state employee, is cuter than theirs. And she is paid a lot more.

  • because Lieing Bill wants to pander to the left. And the middle. And the right. And his AG is spineless and wouldn’t recognize a direct assault on Alaska if it bit her. Why else would the fresh water initiative be allowed on the ballot?

    • Do you have some inside information about Salmon Initiative being allowed on the ballot?

  • The Department of Law isn’t participating because they do not have any attorneys on staff that are able to understand the case against the case brought by the environmental wackos. I am not kidding. There are few departments of State government that are as politically “correct” as the Department of Law. Only liberal and leftist attorneys are hired and that has been the case for decades. All DOL attorneys believe in the religion of climate change. If there are any that don’t they would not speak up out of fear of ending their employment.

  • It would behoove Alaska to join in the suits against the oil companies.

  • Maybe the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Boulder and San Miguel would enjoy being denied any energy delivery’s for say a month or two as a demonstration to how their fellow citizens feel about all of this. I would guess those supporting this foolishness would be nowhere to be found after just 24 hours.