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Despite 0-3 Record, Another Climate Lawsuit Is Filed in New York

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Why does Energy In Depth – a research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America – have a website on climate litigation and the #ExxonKnew campaign? Simple: because these...

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  • Apr 22, 2021

Politicians in New York just can’t seem to break their climate lawsuit habit despite being dealt three devastating defeats in the past four years. The latest effort is from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who, with just eight months left in his term, introduced a consumer fraud climate lawsuit aimed at several energy companies on Thursday.

De Blasio has experience with this sort of litigation: the city’s first attempt to hold producers liable for climate change – a public nuisance lawsuit – was handily rejected in 2018 by U.S. District Court Judge John F. Keenan, who ruled that the courts are not the proper venue to deal with climate change. As Judge Keenan stated in his decision:

“The serious problems caused [by climate change] are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government.”

New York City then appealed Judge Keenan’s decision, only to be defeated a second time when, earlier this month, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city’s case, reaffirming the trial court’s conclusion that litigation is the wrong way to address climate change.

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