As a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Manassas City Council, I believe that elected officials should make our laws while the court system should work to uphold them. Unfortunately, there has been a movement to use the court system as a political tool in an attempt to hold individual energy and manufacturing companies responsible for the impacts of climate change. Virginia should not replicate this misguided effort, as it does nothing to protect the environment while potentially causing the loss of good paying jobs.
Over the past year, activists have filed lawsuits against companies in six states, including neighboring Maryland. They have done this because they believe that the energy and manufacturing sectors should be held accountable for contributing to climate change.
Fortunately, these lawsuits have been largely dismissed for a variety of reasons, including that individual companies cannot be held responsible for this global phenomenon. This is certainly a good sign, but it is a practice that should be avoided here in Virginia because it is a waste of public resources and a lawsuit of this kind would do nothing to protect the environment.
Our elected officials are tasked with ensuring that there are policies in place that keep the environment clean. The court system should not be used to try to create environmental policy, which is what these lawsuits are attempting. Yet unelected activists are doing just that. Filing frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to address global warming.