Energy

A Federal Judge Torches Two Lawsuits Trying To Blame Oil Companies For Climate Change

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter

A federal judge in California threw out two lawsuits trying to hold oil companies responsible for global climate change, according to court documents.

Cato Institute adjunct scholar and Constitutional attorney Andrew Grossman tweeted out the ruling Monday night.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup, appointed by former-President Bill Clinton, dismissed lawsuits by Oakland and San Francisco. The lawsuits sought to recoup damages from sever weather from oil companies, as well as force the companies to invest into a fund that would pay for future infrastructure to protect against more severe weather and rising sea levels.

The lawsuit did not paint the reality of fossil fuels fully. Specifically, the lawsuit omitted many of the massive benefits using fossil fuels has had on technological progress and society in general, according to Alsup.

The best course of action for a solution is through legislature or international treaties, Alsup said.

The National Manufacturers Association (NAM) cheered the ruling.

“From the moment these baseless lawsuits were filed, we have argued that the courtroom was not the proper venue to address this global challenge,” NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. “Judge Alsup agreed. Other municipalities around the country who have filed similar lawsuits should take note as those complaints are likely to end the same way.”

The ruling deals a blow to a movement by U.S. cities and municipalities to hold oil companies liable for the damage cause by severe weather and pay for future infrastructure projects. New York City, Boulder, Colorado, and other California municipalities still have lawsuits pending. (RELATED: Federal Judge Stumps Trial Lawyers Handling NYC’s Climate Lawsuit With One Question)

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