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Bloomberg Law op-ed: Supreme Court Must Keep Climate Change Cases Out of State Court

By Phil Goldberg

The US Supreme Court is considering whether to hear a lawsuit that could have significant adverse implications for America’s energy and climate policy over the next decade.

The lawsuit, filed by Boulder, Colo. in state court, is part of a national effort to blame climate change on energy companies by making them legally responsible for climate-related infrastructure projects.

The petition for review was filed by two energy giants, Suncor Energy Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp.

The Supreme Court is seeking the Biden administration’s input on whether it should review the jurisdictional question at issue: Can state courts make these decisions, or do questions over causes and impacts of climate change arise under federal law and must they go to federal court? This question is central to the litigation.

The local governments are hoping their state courts will be more likely to allow the cases to go forward.

Climate change is a critical national and international issue, and these cases belong in federal court. The climate issues they raise involve inherently federal questions best handled by Congress and federal agencies.

Read the full column here