Indonesia announces a significant $20…
Oil and gas appear to…
District Judge William Alsup dismissed a case brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against five Big Oil companies on the grounds that the matter fell within the competencies of the legislative authorities rather than the judiciary.
Adding insult to injury, the judge made a point of noting that the fossil fuel industry has brought many benefits to the world despite its role in climate change, saying that the issues related to balancing these benefits against changing climate and global warming needed to be handled by the right agencies, including environmental protection authorities, diplomats, “our Executive, and at least the Senate.”
"The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case," Judge Alsup said.
The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have accused Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips of being aware of the effect their business had on the environment but pursuing their business goals without regard for this effect and concealing it from the public.
They also blamed Big Oil for environmental changes resulting from climate change. Put simply, the two cities wanted Big Oil to foot the bill for measures against problems such as coastal erosion resulting from climate change. These measures would cost billions.
Yet the San Francisco and Oakland case is just one of a bunch of similar cases brought against Big Oil. Alsup’s ruling may not bode well for at least one of them in New York. During the first hearing on that case, Judge John Keenan addressed the plaintiff, Mayor Bill de Blasio, with, “The firehouses all have trucks. The Sanitation Department has trucks. If you open the door and go out to Foley Square, you’re going to see five police cars. Does the city have clean hands?”
The judge made the remarks during a hearing of arguments for and against the case and whether it should be allowed to move forward.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.