Another Climate Lawsuit Hits the Wall

We reported here last month that a California lawsuit brought against major oil companies for their role in climate change was dismissed by a federal judge, and a different federal judge has today dismissed a similar suit brought by the city of New York. The judge, John Keenan, a Reagan appointee, ruled on similar grounds, namely, that climate change is not an issue suitable for remedy through litigation:

The court recognizes that the city, and many other governmental entities around the United States and in other nations, will be forced to grapple with the harmful impacts of climate change in the coming decades. However, the immense and complicated problem of global warming requires a comprehensive solution that weighs the global benefits of fossil fuel use with the gravity of the impending harms. To litigate such an action for injuries from foreign greenhouse gas emissions in federal court would severely infringe upon the foreign-policy decisions that are squarely within the purview of the political branches of the U.S. government.

The best part is the last paragraph:

For the reasons stated above, the U.S.-based Defendants’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED and the City’s amended complaint is dismissed with prejudice in its entirety.

This means the suit cannot be amended and filed again. When a case is dismissed “with prejudice,” it means “go away and don’t come back with this trash again.”

Read the full 23-page opinion here, and go here for some background and additional news about the case.


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