Court tosses de Blasio's lawsuit against oil companies

US judge dismisses NY climate lawsuit against oil titans

The city sued the oil companies in January and announced it meant to divest fossil fuel investments from its $189 billion public pension funds over the next five years.

NY said five of the biggest oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell - should compensate the city for the cost of mitigating the effects of global warming. The fossil fuel company defendants claimed in court-and the judge apparently agreed-that it is entirely up to Congress and the president to address climate change. Here's Judge Keenan in the NY case: "The enormous and complicated problem of global warming requires a comprehensive solution that weighs the global benefits of fossil fuel use with the gravity of the impending harms".

The court recognizes that the city, and many other governmental entities around the United States and in other nations, will be forced to grapple with the harmful impacts of climate change in the coming decades.

"From the moment this baseless lawsuit was filed, manufacturers have argued that the courtroom was not the proper venue to address this global challenge", said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

A federal judge in Manhattan has dismissed New York City's nuisance lawsuit seeking to hold five major oil companies liable for the effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gases.

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Furthermore, the state's presentation of the harms of fossil fuel use must be reconciled with the benefits of fossil fuels as a source of power and heating. "We intend to appeal this decision and to keep fighting for New Yorkers who will bear the brunt of climate change", he told The New York Times.

Seth Stein, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the Democratic mayor "believes big polluters must be held accountable for their contributions to climate change and the damage it will cause New York City". He also said that because climate change is a global problem, the city's claims "implicate countless foreign governments and their laws and policies", and could not be decided by a court. On Thursday, a federal judge threw the city's lawsuit out of court.

Despite the legally unchallenged culpability of the oil companies, the judge said that New York City's grievances couldn't be addressed in the way the city wanted.

The court also ruled federal common law provides no remedy for climate change-related injuries because, under binding U.S. Supreme Court precedent, "the Clean Air Act displaces such federal common law claims". "Judge Keenan made that clear in his decision today". The Supreme Court has acknowledged that private plaintiffs can bring federal tort claims, both Keenan and Alsup wrote, but its most recent decisions have urged federal courts to be extremely leery of overextending the reach of USA laws and intruding in matters that implicate foreign policy concerns.

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