Judge says climate issues the purview of federal government, tosses NYC lawsuit

Judge says climate issues the purview of federal government, tosses NYC lawsuit

Undeterred by the setback, other cities are planning to jump on board the bandwagon here, with some already suing, or planning to sue, Big Oil for coastal erosion and changing weather patterns that they claim are the result of manmade climate change.

NY said five of the biggest oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell - should compensate the city for the cost of mitigating the effects of global warming.

The decision follows a similar ruling from a judge in California, who in June threw out cases filed by San Francisco and Oakland on the grounds that it was unfair to place the blame for global warming harms exclusively on energy companies.

Exxon similarly said that climate change "should be addressed by policy makers and not by the courts". "Nuisance suits in various United States judicial districts regarding conduct worldwide are far less likely to solve the problem and, indeed, could interfere with reaching a worldwide consensus". "Global warming and solutions there to must be addressed by the two other branches of government".

There is little chance of that happening under the current USA administration and Congress, which are dominated by skepticism over the realities of manmade climate change-something that Keenan said was "a fact of life" and that the defendants in the case did not dispute.

Meanwhile, in California, U.S. District Judge William Alsup put the kibosh to a suit by San Francisco and Oakland, on similar grounds.

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A federal judge on Thursday threw out New York City's lawsuit against five of the world's largest oil companies, dealing another setback to liberal jurisdictions seeking to hold the petroleum industry financially responsible for global warming.

"Richard Wiles, Center for Climate Integrity " The mayor believes big polluters must be held accountable for their contributions to climate change and the damage it will cause New York City", Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told Bloomberg.

In his ruling, Keenan agreed with the argument made by attorneys for the companies that the case should be tossed because the city's claims arise under federal common law, which displace the city's state law claims.

The court concluded, "given the interstate nature of these claims, it would ... be illogical to allow the City to bring state law claims when courts have found that these matters are areas of federal concern that have been delegated to the Executive Branch as they require a uniform, national solution". "The court relied on bedrock Supreme Court precedent to reject these baseless claims".

Theodore Boutrous, who argued on behalf of the oil companies at a recent hearing before Keenan, said the judge "got it exactly right".

Keenan said the lawsuit implicates countless foreign governments and their laws and policies.

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