TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Federal Judge Dismisses Public Nuisance Climate Change Suits

A federal judge in San Francisco dismissed public nuisance suits for climate change brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against five of the nation's largest oil companies.  The judge accepted the "vast scientific consensus" that fossil fuels cause climate change.  However:

“Questions of how to appropriately balance these worldwide negatives against the worldwide positives of the energy itself, and of how to allocate the pluses and minuses among the nations of the world, demand the expertise of our environmental agencies, our diplomats, our executive, and at least the Senate,” [the judge] said. “Nuisance suits in various United States judicial districts regarding conduct worldwide are far less likely to solve the problem and, indeed, could interfere with reaching a worldwide consensus.”

The ABA Journal has the story.

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