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20 Jun 2011

Marcia Coyle, National Law Journal [USA]

High court rejects climate change suit [USA]

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court...rejected an ambitious effort by a number of states and private land trusts to combat climate change through public nuisance lawsuits against major utilities. The Court...held that the federal Clean Air Act and actions by the Environmental Protection Agency "displace" any federal common-law right to protect citizens from the public nuisance created by carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants...Peter Keisler of Sidley Austin, who successfully argued the case on behalf of five utilities, said the decision "ensures that the public and private utilities named as defendants in this case, as well as other companies...can continue to operate...without the threat of federal `climate change tort litigation,' and the substantial costs and risks to productivity..." [refers to American Electric Power]