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Manufacturers: Law Schools Should Provide Balanced Discussion of Climate Litigation

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement on the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law hosting a climate litigation panel featuring only advocates of these lawsuits. The event is on the heels of a similar one-sided panel that took place last week at the University of Colorado Law School:

 “Today’s event on climate change litigation is concerning because the law school – in putting on a 5-hour, 10 speaker program – has excluded anyone who disagrees with these discredited lawsuits. Law schools usually pride themselves on putting education first, and presenting their students and communities with diverse viewpoints.

Here, the idea of suing America’s energy industry for climate change-related conduct and harms has been rejected many times, including by the highest court in the land. The students and public should hear from people who can explain why there is no valid legal or public policy basis for suing companies that manufacture the energy products that we all use to heat our homes, drive our cars and power our businesses.

What the law school should have embraced is an earnest public policy debate over the best way to reduce climate change emissions and impacts. The truth is that innovation, not meritless litigation, has always been the way our country has brought about the type of societal-wide advancements needed here.

We reached out to the Dean immediately when we saw the public notice of today’s event to offer our assistance in finding people who can provide needed balance to this program. We continue to stand ready to work with her and any other law school who would welcome an honest debate on climate change litigation and effective policy solutions.”

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The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.