FORT WORTH – Texas justices will soon decide whether California municipalities took aim at Texas-based free speech by bringing climate change lawsuits against ExxonMobil, a Texas company, in California courts.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The cities of Oakland and San Francisco have replaced the private lawyers representing them in climate change litigation as a series of lawsuits against ExxonMobil, Shell and other oil companies head toward what could be their final challenges in appeals courts on either coast.
Democrat challengers aspiring to become the top lawyers in their states have received financial boosts from Tom Steyer, a billionaire investor and environmental activist who some feel is a driving force behind the recent string of climate change lawsuits struggling to persuade judges to punish the energy industry.
New York City and the private lawyers it hired to sue the fossil fuel industry over alleged effects of climate change will not accept a federal judge’s recent decision to throw the lawsuit out of court.
Federal judges continue to reject the efforts of private lawyers who hold a financial stake in lawsuits brought by government officials against the oil industry over the alleged effects of climate change.
A judge on the other side of the country has ruled that it isn’t an issue for the courts, but that is not stopping Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and the private lawyers he has hired, from suing the oil industry over alleged effects of climate change.
R.I. AG Peter Kilmartin better hope Rhode Island courts import California’s concept of public nuisance law, since the last time a Rhode Island AG tried this tactic, over lead paint, the state Supreme Court rejected the claim entirely.
The private lawyers who engineered the latest round of municipal lawsuits over climate change hoped they’d found a path through the thicket of precedents blocking their way by suing oil companies for selling hydrocarbons instead of burning them and by citing state instead of federal law.