The United States Supreme Court decided Monday to allow several municipal climate change lawsuits against major oil companies to be allowed to proceed in their respective state courts.
NBC News reported that the decision impacts cases against Big Oil companies in Colorado, Maryland, California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, where the plaintiffs believe they can prevail for damages.
“Big Oil companies have been desperate to avoid trials in state courts, where they will be forced to defend their climate lies in front of juries, and today the Supreme Court declined to bail them out,” Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, an environmental group, told the news outlet Monday.
The report said business groups are unhappy with the decision and feel the cases should be heard at the national or international level.
“The challenge of our time is developing technologies and public policies so that the world can produce and use energy in ways that are affordable for people and sustainable for the planet,” Phil Goldberg, a lawyer with the National Association of Manufacturers said in the report. “It should not be figuring out how to creatively plead lawsuits that seek to monetize climate change and provide no solutions.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, municipalities in the five states are suing major oil companies including Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., and Shell PLC, for “various environmental harms” committed under the respective state’s laws and caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
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