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Bloomberg Environment: Baltimore Climate Case Against Big Oil Kept in State Court

Baltimore’s legal effort to hold fossil fuel producers liable for climate change can proceed in the state court where it was filed, a panel of judges ruled Friday in a blow to companies facing climate litigation across the country.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sided with Baltimore in the latest stage of its lawsuit against BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., and other multinational energy companies—one of a dozen pending cases targeting the industry for its role in rising global temperatures.

Chevron Corp. has already vowed to challenge the decision.

Baltimore says oil and gas companies should cover the costs of raising local streets, enhancing stormwater infrastructure, and making other local investments to address damages linked to climate change. The city and the companies disagree on whether the case belongs in state or federal court.

The full article can be read here.

Manufacturers Urge Mayors to End Trend of Baseless Litigation

Washington, DC— Today, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) joined 29 state manufacturing groups in urging the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) to put an end to the baseless public nuisance lawsuits that are being filed against manufacturers by profit-seeking trial attorneys and public officials. The groups delivered the joint letter during the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Fall Leadership Meeting in Columbia, South Carolina, in response to this disturbing trend. The letter was sent to the Honorable Stephen K. Benjamin, mayor of Columbia and president of the USCM, and Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the USCM.

The organizations wrote, “It is our hope that by again bringing this issue to your attention, we can work together on productive ways to reverse this concerning trend and focus on meaningful solutions. We ask you today to consider how these lawsuits have affected or may impact your courtrooms and constituents, and we seek to partner with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its members to work toward putting an end to these lawsuits and focus on real solutions.” Over the past year, 14 cities and counties and one state have filed this type of misguided litigation against manufacturers. To date, federal courts have dismissed the trial attorney-driven lawsuits in Oakland, San Francisco and New York City.

“Despite repeated defeats in the courtroom in recent months, mayors and public officials continue to join these public nuisance lawsuits that not only undermine the success of manufacturers across the nation but do little to improve the environment. Manufacturers have made tremendous gains in reducing emissions and are hopeful that mayors will join us in encouraging real efforts rather than filing baseless litigation that has never succeeded in court,” said Lindsey de la Torre, executive director of the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project.

Click here to read the full letter.