[from WASHINGTON POST]
The Supreme Court will review a key aspect of a big case in which Baltimore is suing Big Oil over damages from climate change.
The question the high court plans to consider next year is a narrow procedural one. But its answer could have broad implications for a suite of other suits from local governments from Rhode Island to California aiming to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for global warming.
The court’s decision to review the case, announced Friday, is a win for oil companies hoping to stop the lawsuits looking for millions, if not billions, in damages for floods, fires and other climate change-fueled disasters. The case also comes as President Trump and congressional Republicans prepare to solidify the court’s conservative majority with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Over the past several years, more than a dozen states, counties and cities have scrambled to sue oil companies over the damages they say their products caused in the form of longer droughts, stronger storms and fiercer wildfires.
Last month alone, Connecticut, Delaware, Charleston, S.C. and Hoboken, N.J. have made a slew of different claims in court with the same broad theme. They allege oil companies misled the public about the dangers posed by rising temperatures — and that taxpayers are now paying the price for it by having to erect higher sea walls and prepare for other effects of climate change.