Why Colorado thinks it has a chance to make oil companies pay for climate change

Why Colorado thinks it has a chance to make oil companies pay for climate change

News Type: Regional, Federal Source: VOX
Click here to read the article: https://www.vox.com/2018/7/5/17519236/colorado-climate-change-lawsuit-exxon-suncor

Nine cities and counties in Colorado, California, Washington, and New York, as well as the state of Rhode Island, have filed lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, with oil giants Exxon and BP among the defendants. The goal is to make the oil majors liable for the greenhouse gases produced from their products and the local damages of climate change: rising average temperatures, melting snowpack, extreme weather like rainstorms and drought, and higher seas.

If successful, the suits would put energy companies on the hook for billions of dollars in damages to pay for sea walls to protect cities from sea-level rise, relocating homes, and farmland scorched by wildfire. The legal process could also force companies to reveal incriminating information about their efforts to obfuscate their role in global warming.

In an era with a Congress weak on climate policy and an executive branch hostile to even acknowledging climate change, courts remain some of the few avenues left to hold industry accountable for greenhouse gas emissions.