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USA: Court dismisses San Francisco & Oakland climate lawsuit against 5 fossil fuel cos.

"Judge Dismisses Suit Against Oil Companies Over Climate Change Costs", 25 June 2018

A federal judge on Monday threw out a closely watched lawsuit brought by two California cities against fossil fuel companies over the costs of dealing with climate change.  The decision is a stinging defeat for the plaintiffs, San Francisco and Oakland, and raises warning flags for other local governments around the United States that have filed similar suits, including New York City.  The judge, William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco, acknowledged the science of global warming and the great risks to the planet, as did the oil and gas companies being sued.  But in his ruling, Judge Alsup said the courts were not the proper place to deal with such global issues, and he rejected the legal theory put forth by the cities...The cities wanted the defendants — including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell — to help pay for projects like protecting coastlines from flooding.  But Judge Alsup said the issues would more properly be handled by the other two branches of government...Judge Alsup said that climate change was an issue of global importance but that the companies were not solely at fault...The cities had relied on the area of public nuisance under state common law, which allows courts to hold parties responsible for actions that interfere with the use of property...

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