National lawmakers, companies and environmental groups are now engaging in important discussions over how the United States, and ultimately the planet, can reach our climate goals. The most important task is figuring out how to develop the technologies we need to source and use energy much more efficiently so the world’s energy use will have a net zero impact on the climate. It is a mammoth undertaking requiring a collaborative “all in” approach.
Some people, though, are stuck in the past. Rather than join this solution-based effort, they are waging a 20-year old campaign to blame climate change on energy manufacturers. Scapegoating energy companies may make for good politics in some circles, but climate change is no more their fault than ours. We need energy to turn on our lights, fuel our cars, power our workplaces and produce goods. The challenge is figuring how to sustain modern life and the climate.
One of the problems with this litigation approach is that it will hinder the ability of our national leaders to lead on climate. As the architects of the litigation campaign have said, they are trying to go state-by-state to get local judges to circumvent Congress and “raise the price” of energy. Their ultimate goal is for judges to impose a back-door penalty on all of our energy use. In their words, “holding oil companies responsible is to hold oil consumers responsible.”
Read the full op-ed here.