In an op-ed published yesterday in The Colorado Sun, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project’s Special Counsel Phil Goldberg explains how climate tort litigation against energy manufacturers is counterproductive in the fight against climate change and, ultimately, will hurt everyday consumers. Goldberg’s op-ed highlights recent commentary from lawyers representing Boulder and other Colorado municipalities in their climate lawsuit, shining a light on the fact that they are trying to use this litigation “to control the public’s consumption of fuels by making them more expensive.”
Here are some excerpts from the op-ed:
- “Climate change is a pressing challenge shared by every person, business and government around the world. How we choose to address this crisis — whether we unite behind a common purpose or let it become yet one more pawn in the politics of division — will define our generation and our success.”
- “Finger pointing does not lead to solutions. In addition to being counterproductive, this litigation is turning out to be completely disingenuous. In making its case in court, Boulder repeatedly says it is not asking courts ‘to stop or regulate the production of fossil fuels’ or ‘emissions in Colorado or elsewhere.’ They know that regulating fuels and emissions and imposing carbon penalties is not the job of courts. The case would be a non-starter.”
- “This is why it was so surprising when the general counsel for EarthRights International, which is representing Boulder in its climate case, fully acknowledged the regulatory purpose of the litigation in a Telluride radio broadcast. Specifically, the attorney told Caulfield, ‘Whether that’s cutting back on the harmful activities, and/or to raise the price of the products that are causing those harmful effects so that if they are continuing to sell fossil fuels, that the cost of the harms of those fossil fuels would ultimately get priced into them.’”
- “Perhaps the lawyers understand that Americans oppose energy policies that significantly raise their costs for energy and other products and risk their livelihoods, particularly when other countries could wipe out any climate gains. So, they are pursuing litigation to skip the legislative and regulatory process and avoid any consideration of consumer interests, economic impacts and the appropriate public policies.”
- “Coloradans cannot afford this climate lawsuit — just like we cannot unplug from modern life. America must lead today’s critical climate mission and bring the world together for meaningful solutions. Innovation, not litigation, is the right, only and proven path forward.”
You can read the entire op-ed here.