Josiah Neeley, a Senior Fellow with R Street, hosted the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project’s Phil Goldberg, Niskanen Center’s David Bookbinder, and American Action Forum’s Ewelina Czapla, to debate the practicality of municipal climate litigation. In recent years, lawsuits have become the primary tactic of municipalities seeking damages from domestic energy producers. These municipalities contend that energy companies should have to pay for local infrastructure projects needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change because their products, namely oil and gas, contribute to climate change. But as MAP has made clear and many judges have ruled, selling energy is not a liability-inducing event, and determining how to address climate change and pay for its local impacts are public policy issues that need to be resolved in Congress and the regulatory agencies. Collaboration, not litigation, is the effective approach.
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