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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.”

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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.

Manufacturers Respond to the Rhode Island Federal Judge’s Ruling on the Motion to Remand

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to the latest court developments in Rhode Island:

“Climate change is a shared global challenge that requires a broad and innovative response from policymakers. At the end of the day, this is not a liability issue for state or federal court. Fortunately, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has a strong history of rejecting this type of litigation. If the state really wants to do something about climate change, it should work with manufacturers on energy innovations, not target them for 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.

Manufacturers: Law Schools Should Provide Balanced Discussion of Climate Litigation

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement on the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law hosting a climate litigation panel featuring only advocates of these lawsuits. The event is on the heels of a similar one-sided panel that took place last week at the University of Colorado Law School:

 “Today’s event on climate change litigation is concerning because the law school – in putting on a 5-hour, 10 speaker program – has excluded anyone who disagrees with these discredited lawsuits. Law schools usually pride themselves on putting education first, and presenting their students and communities with diverse viewpoints.

Here, the idea of suing America’s energy industry for climate change-related conduct and harms has been rejected many times, including by the highest court in the land. The students and public should hear from people who can explain why there is no valid legal or public policy basis for suing companies that manufacture the energy products that we all use to heat our homes, drive our cars and power our businesses.

What the law school should have embraced is an earnest public policy debate over the best way to reduce climate change emissions and impacts. The truth is that innovation, not meritless litigation, has always been the way our country has brought about the type of societal-wide advancements needed here.

We reached out to the Dean immediately when we saw the public notice of today’s event to offer our assistance in finding people who can provide needed balance to this program. We continue to stand ready to work with her and any other law school who would welcome an honest debate on climate change litigation and effective policy solutions.”

-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.

Manufacturers Respond to NYC Mayor’s Comments Assailing Skyscrapers Over Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s comment that buildings are “the number-one cause of emissions” in New York City:

“Mayor de Blasio’s recent comment that the number-one cause of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City is its buildings underscores the very reason his lawsuit blaming America’s energy manufacturers for global climate change is baseless. As this comment suggests, global climate change is a society-wide issue that cannot be blamed—legally or morally—on any one industry. Mayor de Blasio should work with manufacturers on serious, innovative solutions that can modernize New York’s buildings and other parts of its infrastructure. Collaboration and innovation—not politically motivated litigation—is the only way to tackle this critical 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.

NAM President & CEO Jay Timmons Highlights the Misguided Lawsuits Targeting Manufacturers in State of Manufacturing Address

Houston, TX – Today, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the 2019 State of Manufacturing Address at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. In remarks prepared for delivery, Timmons discusses the rise of misguided public nuisance lawsuits filed against manufacturers and highlights the role of the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project in exposing the coalition of special interests driving these lawsuits:

“Right now, there are groups of trial lawyers slinking around the country tantalizing elected officials in cities and states with unrealistic promises of jackpot justice if they will only agree to sue energy manufacturers over climate change.”

“This is Houston—home to energy companies—so this matters to you. These lawyers—they want to get rich at the expense of manufacturing workers.”

“The good news is courts have ruled repeatedly against these frivolous and baseless lawsuits. But if they were ever to succeed because one activist judge decides to make a statement instead of applying the law, the lawyers will get their payday, the politicians will get some headlines—and the rest of us will still be left to solve the climate challenge.”

“At the NAM, through our Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, we’re exposing these schemes and making sure our leaders stand up against this threat—so that manufacturers can continue to lead. Because we don’t need politicians or attorneys for us to know that this earth is the only home we have, and we want to leave it better than we found it.”

“I want to be clear on this: manufacturers know that climate change is a very real problem that we all face. And manufacturers are developing the technologies that will make our environment healthier.”

Jay Timmons

President and CEO

National Association of Manufacturers

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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.

Manufacturers Urge Appeals Court to Dismiss NYC Climate Case

Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers filed an amicus brief today in support of manufacturers who have been targeted by New York City in a lawsuit alleging they are responsible for the global challenge of climate change. The case was initially dismissed from federal court in July 2018 and is now on appeal in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Accountability Project and co-author of the amicus brief, issued the following statement:

“The National Association of Manufacturers’ is committed to protecting the environment and to environmental sustainability, and fully supports the ongoing national effort to protect our environment and improve public health through appropriate laws and regulations. The NAM has grave concerns, though, about the attempt here to circumvent products liability law and create category liability for lawful, beneficial energy products that are essential to modern life.

“This lawsuit is part of a new wave of politically-oriented litigation born out of frustration that not enough is being done, particularly in Washington, D.C., on climate change. Under all legal theories, state and federal, it is abundantly clear that there is no viable common law cause of action against private actors for harms caused by global climate change or any weather event associated with climate change. Defendants are engaged in the production and sale of lawful products essential to modern life. New York City must not be allowed to turn the promotion and sale of energy into a liability-inducing event.

“The best way to reduce climate change impacts is for governments to work with America’s manufacturers, including Defendants, on new technologies that reduce emissions and make energy more efficient and environmentally friendly. Innovation, not litigation, has been the proven way America has brought about societal-wide technological advancement. For these reasons, as well as those stated in our brief, the NAM respectfully urges the Court to affirm the Judge Keenan’s decision.”

To view the full amicus brief, click here.

-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.

NAM’s MCLA Announces Phil Goldberg as Special Counsel

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced the addition of Phil Goldberg as Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), an effort led by the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), the NAM’s in-house legal arm and the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts. He will serve as a senior legal adviser and spokesman for the effort.

Started in 2017, the MAP was created to set the record straight and expose the concerted, coordinated political campaign being waged in the courts against America’s manufacturers. These lawsuits and other legal actions have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States through a series of baseless public nuisance suits and other legal tactics.

“For more than a year, the NAM has fought back successfully against this coordinated attempt to shake down manufacturers over baseless public nuisance litigation. Last year, three public nuisance cases brought by the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and New York were all thrown out by federal judges, and the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project will work tirelessly to build on that record in 2019,” said NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly, who leads the MCLA. “Phil is one of the brightest legal minds in this space and brings impeccable credentials to the table on behalf of America’s manufacturers and manufacturing workers. We are excited to have him on board.”

“The NAM and its Manufacturers’ Accountability Project are the tip of the spear in the fight against the wave of unfounded public nuisance lawsuits targeting America’s manufacturers. The stakes could not be higher for manufacturers as well as the integrity of our legal system,” said Goldberg. “I look forward to helping manufacturers and manufacturing workers fight back against these deeply misguided lawsuits, which are more about politics than addressing the global challenge of climate change—and actually distract us from focusing on real solutions.”

Goldberg has more than 25 years of experience on liability-related public policy. He is the Managing Partner of the Washington office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. and the Co-Chair of its Public Policy Group. He also serves as director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Civil Justice. He authored amici briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2011 climate change case Connecticut v. AEP and the Supreme Court of Rhode Island in Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association. The Rhode Island and New Jersey Supreme Courts cited Goldberg’s articles in denying overly expansive public nuisance theories.

Before joining Shook in 2003, Goldberg spent eight years as an aide to three Democratic members of Congress and three years as a vice president of litigation communications for two leading public relations firms. He received his law degree from George Washington University Law School, where he was Order of the Coif, and his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Tufts University.

More information about the MCLA can be found here. More information about the MAP can be found here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

 

733 10th St. NW, Suite 700 • Washington, DC 20001 • (202) 637-3000

Manufacturers Condemn New York City Climate Lawsuit on One-Year Anniversary

Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers’ Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the City of New York’s public nuisance lawsuit against manufacturers:

“From the beginning, New York City’s baseless lawsuit against energy manufacturers has proven to be a misguided attempt to hurt a vital American industry we all rely on to meet our daily needs. City officials, including Mayor de Blasio, have made clear that the true purpose of the lawsuit is to attack manufacturers and manufacturing workers. The issue of climate change is a global public policy issue that has no place in the courts, a point that judges across the legal spectrum have noted in dismissing these frivolous cases, including New York City’s, and we expect the same outcome for the City’s appeal.

“Energy manufacturers continue to innovate more sustainable products and processes, a fact New York City clearly understands. Since early last year, the City has been increasingly turning to natural gas to meet its energy needs and reduce its environmental footprint. Rather than suing the very manufacturers they are working with to reduce emissions – which will do nothing to solve climate change and just wastes taxpayer resources – the City should work constructively with manufacturers so that we can address this challenge while providing affordable energy to New Yorkers.”

-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.

Despite SCOTUS Decision, Mass. AG Investigation Likely to Fail, Says Manufacturers Group

Washington, DC – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declining to hear ExxonMobil’s appeal of the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s April 2018 decision allowing Massachusetts Attorney General Healey’s investigation into the company’s climate change statements to move forward:

“The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not take this case does not change the underlying problems with Attorney General Healey’s investigation. The New York Attorney General’s office brought essentially the same investigation in 2015, received millions of documents from the company, and failed to find a smoking gun. The root of the problem here is that this is a misguided political effort to hold a single manufacturer responsible for a global problem. This political investigation is an abuse of the state’s law enforcement efforts and a waste of Massachusetts’ tax dollars and resources.”

-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.