Baltimore officials moved forward with a lawsuit Friday seeking to hold the petroleum industry financially responsible for climate change, a day after a judge threw out a similar claim filed by New York City.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Solicitor Andre M. Davis said the city had filed a complaint in state court against 26 companies, arguing that the firms should compensate the city for damages allegedly caused by global warming.
“Baltimore has suffered, for example, two 1,000-year storms in the last couple of years,” Mr. Davis said at a press conference. “This is not right, this is not something we should permit to go uncompensated. And so we intend to seek relief.”
The timing of the Baltimore lawsuit was curious, given that U.S. District Court Judge John Keenan dismissed New York City’s lawsuit on Thursday, saying the matter should be resolved by the legislative and executive branches, not the judiciary.
Mr. Davis pointed out that those rulings were made by federal judges, while Baltimore has filed its complaint in state court, and that none of the decisions has so far gone through the appeals process.
“What we hope through this lawsuit is to take our claims to state court judges here in Maryland, who we believe will look at the matter afresh and see that we have legitimate claims of compensation,” Mr. Davis said.