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MAP Statement on DC Attorney General’s Lawsuit: Trying to Scapegoat Energy Manufacturers is Not Going to Solve Climate Change

Washington D.C. – Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement today in response to the DC Attorney General filing a lawsuit today against energy manufacturers: 

Politically-motivated legal actions over the shared global challenge of climate change have no place in the courtroom—whether they target a handful of companies as here or an entire industry. This pointless lawsuit is about trying to impose liability over policy positions, including from decades ago, and even the companies’ current engagement in environmental policies with which the District Attorney General’s office disagrees. The issues raised in this lawsuit are entirely political, not legal—this is why a judge called them “hyperbolic” last year when dismissing the New York AG’s claims based on essentially the same allegations.

Repeating a tired, false narrative does not make it any more true. It is disturbing to all manufacturers when the law is selectively applied and distorted for political purposes. Trying to scapegoat energy manufacturers, whether here or in other lawsuits, is not going to solve climate change, which is one of the most important challenges of our time. If the District and other governments really care about doing something about climate change, which we hope they do, they should focus on collaborating with the industry to foster the policies and innovations required to address this challenge.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Responds to Minnesota Attorney General’s Lawsuit: Politically-Motivated Legal Actions Over Shared Global Challenge Have No Place in the Courtroom

Washington D.C. – Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filing a lawsuit today against the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries:

Politically-motivated legal actions over the shared global challenge of climate change have no place in the courtroom—whether they target a handful of companies or an entire industry. This pointless lawsuit is about trying to impose liability over policy positions, including from decades ago, which the AG’s office currently disagrees. Courts are rejecting this misguided and misleading narrative, with a judge already calling them “hyperbolic” last year when New York’s Attorney General brought claims based on essentially the same allegations.

It is disturbing to all manufacturers when the law is selectively applied and distorted for political purposes. Trying to scapegoat energy manufacturers, whether here or in other lawsuits, is not going to solve climate change. Minnesota and other governments should focus on collaborating with the industry to foster the policies and innovations required to address this challenge.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Responds to Texas Court of Appeals Decision: Judges Acknowledge how Climate Litigation Proponents Try to Undermine Rule of Law

Washington D.C. – Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to Thursday’s decision by the Texas Court of Appeals, which reluctantly dismissed ExxonMobil’s petition to conduct pre-suit discovery against the lawyers, cities and foundations that have been waging the climate litigation campaign against it and other energy manufacturers.

This ruling is a must read for anyone who cares about climate litigation because it uncovers the systematic campaign that lawyers, activists and cities have engaged in over the past decade to turn climate change into a tort litigation issue, not a matter of national energy policy. This is one of the rare rulings that is not important for the result, but for what the judges said about how these groups are trying to undermine the rule of law.

Specifically, the Texas court called the ‘lawfare’ the California municipalities are engaged in
an ‘ugly tool by which to seek the environmental policy changes the California parties desire, enlisting the judiciary to do the work that the other two branches of government cannot or will not do.’ The Court also issued extensive findings of fact that track the climate liability campaign, from the infamous La Jolla conference where this litigation strategy was born to secret meetings with foundations to recruit state attorneys general and California municipalities to their cause.

Another good read is the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project’s Beyond the Courtroom report because it further exposes how this litigation has been driven by politics and profit all along. Its chapters detail how a handful of wealthy foundations have been providing money to law firms and public relations consultants to generate and create a false façade of support for this litigation. In addition to leveraging these lawsuits for their protracted fundraising campaigns, they are trying to use them as improper tools to drive the policy debate on climate public policies.

At the end of the day, Americans understand that selling energy they need and use every day is neither unlawful nor a public nuisance, and therefore not a liability concern for the courts. Climate change is a problem that needs to be addressed, but this litigation is neither a viable legal option nor productive. We hope the Texas Supreme Court will allow this case to proceed so that the Texas courts can fully pull back the curtain on the climate litigation campaign.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Responds to Ninth Circuit’s Decision on California Climate Litigation: Ruling Underscores Why the Supreme Court Should Hear These Cases

Washington D.C. – Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to today’s decision by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to keep climate litigation filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland and San Mateo County in state court: 

The Ninth Circuit ruling identifies the main reason this case and all climate tort litigation is not suited for federal or state court, stating ‘whether the Energy Companies can be held liable for public nuisance based on production and promotion of the use of fossil fuels and be required to spend billions of dollars on abatement is no doubt an important policy question.’ Selling us the energy we need to power our homes, businesses and communities is not unlawful and, therefore, not a subject for tort liability in any court. It makes no sense to spend years of judicial resources on these procedural rulings when it is abundantly clear that this is a policy issue for executive or legislative bodies, not courts. In fact, today’s ruling underscores why the U.S. Supreme Court should hear the climate tort cases now and resolve them once and for all. 

At the end of the day, mitigating climate change is not about scapegoating others, which may score political points, but developing the technologies we need to source and use energy more efficiently. If these California communities really want to do something about climate change, they should work with manufacturers on these energy innovations, not waste everyone’s time with this baseless litigation.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Statement on Boulder, Colorado Climate Litigation Oral Arguments: Manufacturers Wrongfully Targeted for Shared Challenges Demanding Shared Solutions

Washington D.C. – Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to oral arguments at today’s Tenth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals hearing on Boulder, Colorado’s climate litigation case:

The most telling moment from today’s climate litigation hearing in the Tenth Circuit is when the lawyer for Boulder County acknowledged that this lawsuit was about going after the worldwide sales “across the entire enterprises” of energy manufacturers. Trying to regulate worldwide sales of energy through tort liability is not the role of the courts or state law. Selling Coloradans the energy needed to power their homes, businesses and communities is not unlawful. There is no doubt that we need to mitigate global climate change, but scapegoating energy manufacturers and using state tort law for this shared global challenge is baseless and not productive. If Boulder officials really want to do something about climate change, rather than just try to score local political points, they should work with manufacturers on energy innovations. Innovation and collaboration, not litigation, is the only way to make a real difference for Colorado in the fight against global climate change.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Statement Urges Supreme Court to Review Remand Order in Baltimore Climate Case

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement:

“The U.S. Supreme Court should grant the energy manufacturers’ Petition for Certiorari in the Baltimore case so that the federal judiciary can come to a single resolution on whether this case and the others like it should be administered by state or federal courts. What has become clear is that the lawyers bringing these cases have been trying to game the system by filing the same case in several jurisdictions, hoping to take advantage of a split among the circuits on the question at the heart of this appeal. At the end of the day, we are confident that the courts will once again find that climate change requires a broad and innovative response from policymakers, not a liability ruling from state or federal courts. If Baltimore really wants to do something about climate change, it should work with manufacturers on local energy innovations, not waste time and resources on this baseless litigation.”

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Statement on Honolulu Filing Climate Litigation: Collaboration, Not Litigation, is the Best Way to Fight Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to the City of Honolulu filing a lawsuit against manufacturers over the impacts of climate change:

“Honolulu’s decision to move forward with litigation ignores the reality that these lawsuits have nothing to do with fighting climate change and will lead only to increased costs for local residents. People throughout Honolulu and the entire state of Hawai’i need energy to power their homes and businesses, as well as the ability to bring tourists, goods and services to the Islands. The truth is that the best way to fight climate change is to engage with the manufacturing community on the major innovations that will allow us to source and use energy more efficiently, not scapegoat the companies that manufacture the energy we all need and use every day. If Honolulu really wanted to do something about climate change it would work with manufacturers — as the overwhelming majority of communities have done — and not join this fringe litigation movement.”

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.

MAP Statement on Decision in NY Attorney General Lawsuit: Politically-Motivated Legal Actions Have No Place in the Courtroom

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager’s ruling that the New York Attorney General’s office failed to prove that ExxonMobil mislead its investors over climate change risks:

“Today’s ruling makes clear that politically-motivated investigations and legal actions against energy manufacturers over the shared global challenge of climate change have no place in the courtroom —whether they target one company or an entire industry. It was obvious at trial that the AG’s office was trying to impose liability on ExxonMobil for its viewpoints and for taking positions in policy debates with which it disagreed.  It is disturbing to all manufacturers when the law is selectively applied and distorted in this way to achieve a nakedly political goal. Trying to scapegoat energy manufacturers over climate change, whether here or in other lawsuits, is not going to solve climate change. New York and other governments should focus on fostering the policies and innovations required to address this challenge, not sue and undermine these efforts.”

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.




Statement: Manufacturers Urge Honolulu Public Officials to Reject Costly Climate Lawsuit

Washington, DC — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement ahead of the Honolulu City Council’s public hearing today to consider a resolution to approve a climate lawsuit targeting manufacturers and hiring outside trial attorneys:

“Climate change is a shared global challenge that requires a broad and innovative response from policymakers—not litigation seeking to cast blame onto a single industry. Before signing onto this litigation and fast tracking the hiring of a for profit San Francisco law firm, the City should hold hearings to explore the impact that suing the companies that produce the energy we all use will have on our everyday lives. They will find that this litigation will not solve climate change, but it will make it more expensive for all of us to turn on our lights, fuel our cars and power our factories—not to mention the increased costs of getting goods, services and tourists to the island. Nobody should look at this lawsuit as any real solution.

“If Honolulu wants to join the fight against climate change, it should ditch this type of litigation, which courts have already found baseless, and work with manufacturers to develop the technologies that Honolulu and other communities need to source and use energy in ways that reduce climate impacts. The manufacturing community, including those targeted in this litigation, is already highly focused on developing technological solutions to climate change and would gladly partner with Honolulu on these efforts.”

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.




MAP Statement on Application to Stay the Remand Order

The U.S. Supreme Court should stay the Baltimore case so that the federal judiciary can come to a single resolution on the merits, or lack thereof, of suing energy manufacturers for global climate change—just as they did the last time climate change tort cases were filed.  This time around, the lawyers have been trying to game the system by filing the same case in several jurisdictions, hoping one will go forward. The other courts have dismissed their cases or stayed the proceedings until the appeals can be heard. It makes no sense for the Baltimore case to get out ahead of this process.  At the end of the day, we are confident that the courts will once again find that climate change requires a broad and innovative response from policymakers, not a liability ruling from state or federal courts. If Baltimore really wants to do something about climate change, it should work with manufacturers on local energy innovations, not waste time and resources on this baseless litigation.

-MAP-

The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.