Citizens for Justice and Peace

Colorado communities mount latest legal case against oil companies over climate change

24, Apr 2018 | CJP Team

The city of Boulder in Colorado, as well as the counties of Boulder and San Miguel have filed a lawsuit against oil firms Exxon Mobil and Suncor to obtain damages to cover what they say are the expenses of adapting for climate change, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. They have alleged that the companies created a public nuisance by manufacturing and selling fossil fuels that lead to climate change.The complain stated that the companies “sold and promoted fossil fuels knowing that climate impacts were substantially certain to occur if unchecked fossil fuel use continued”. Both firms have operations in Colorado, the complaint said. This case joins several other similar lawsuits in the United States, but officials associated with it say it is the first one from the interior of the country; other cases have been mounted by coastal areas, including New York and California. The officials said their area in Colorado is susceptible to climate-related events such as droughts that can endanger farming, as well as warmer winters that hurt the skiing industry. “Climate change is not just about sea level rise. It affects all of us in the middle of the country as well,” according to Elise Jones, a Boulder City commissioner. Michael Burger of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law estimates that this is the tenth lawsuit in the US “against fossil fuel companies seeking damages for costs associated with climate change impacts”. 



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