Newsweek recently published an op-ed by Phil Goldberg, special counsel to the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project. Goldberg’s op-ed highlights the ongoing attempts by climate litigation advocates to continually repackage their lawsuits against energy manufacturers, despite consistent setbacks in court. The architects behind this litigation campaign believe they can create the veneer of momentum by merely filing lawsuits in a bunch of states. But, as this op-ed demonstrates, the courts are getting wise to this litigation ploy. Further, the state-by-state strategy will tie the hands of the national leaders, manufacturers and environmental groups who have been diligently working on public policies that can meaningfully address climate change. Key passages:
- “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.”
- “Scapegoating energy companies may make for good politics in some circles . . . but 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.”
- “Fortunately, federal courts have seen this litigation for what it is: an undemocratic attempt at regulating through the courts.”
- “As groups like the National Association of Manufacturers [have] explained, figuring out America’s energy policy for how to effectively deal with global climate change requires national decision-making.”
- “It is time to end these cases once-and-for-all. The federal government should not have its hands tied by these state lawsuits. The stakes are too high. Balancing America’s need for affordable, reliable energy, along with climate action, are national and legislative in nature.”
You can read the entire Newsweek Op-Ed here.