San Francisco and Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over costs of climate change

From PR Newswire

Companies knew for decades that their products caused climate change and posed ‘catastrophic’ risk, but misled the public and continued to make enormous profits

CITY ATTORNEY OF SAN FRANCISCO LOGO

News provided by

City Attorney of San Francisco

13:15 ET

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker announced today that they had filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the five largest investor-owned producers of fossil fuels in the world. The lawsuits ask the courts to hold these companies responsible for the costs of sea walls and other infrastructure necessary to protect San Francisco and Oakland from ongoing and future consequences of climate change and sea level rise caused by the companies’ production of massive amounts of fossil fuels.

The defendant companies — Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell — have known for decades that fossil fuel-driven global warming and accelerated sea level rise posed a catastrophic risk to human beings and to public and private property, especially in coastal cities like San Francisco and Oakland, who have the largest shoreline investments on San Francisco Bay.

Despite that knowledge, the defendant companies continued to aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market, while at the same time engaging in an organized campaign to deceive consumers about the dangers of massive fossil fuel production.

The lawsuits filed Tuesday in the superior courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties were developed with assistance from the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

Like the tobacco companies who were sued in the 1980s, these defendants knowingly and recklessly created an ongoing public nuisance that is causing harm now, and in the future risks catastrophic harm to human life and property, including billions of dollars of public and private property in Oakland and San Francisco.

“These fossil fuel companies profited handsomely for decades while knowing they were putting the fate of our cities at risk,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “Instead of owning up to it, they copied a page from the Big Tobacco playbook. They launched a multi-million dollar disinformation campaign to deny and discredit what was clear even to their own scientists: global warming is real, and their product is a huge part of the problem. Now, the bill has come due. It’s time for these companies to take responsibility for the harms they have caused and are continuing to cause.”

“Global warming is an existential threat to humankind, to our ecosystems and to the wondrous, myriad species that inhabit our planet,” Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker said. “These companies knew fossil fuel-driven climate change was real, they knew it was caused by their products and they lied to cover up that knowledge to protect their astronomical profits. The harm to our cities has commenced and will only get worse. The law is clear that the defendants are responsible for the consequences of their reckless and disastrous actions.”

The fossil fuel industry’s own records show that the defendant companies have knowingly misled the American public and the world about the dangers of fossil-fuel driven climate change. Despite their knowledge of the scientific consensus on these issues, and despite warnings from their own internal scientists and/or scientists retained by their trade association, defendants continue to engage in massive fossil fuel production. They also continue to promote fossil fuels, and have developed multi-decade future business plans based upon increased fossil fuel usage even as global warming has progressed into a severe danger zone.

Defendants’ contributions to global warming have already caused sea levels to rise in San Francisco Bay and threatened imminent harm to San Francisco and Oakland from storm surges. In San Francisco, bayside sea level rise from global warming places at risk at least $10 billion of public property and as much as $39 billion of private property. It is also extremely vulnerable because it is surrounded by water on three sides.  For example, the Ferry Building would be temporarily flooded during a 100-year extreme tide today, but could be flooded every day after 36 inches of sea level rise.

San Francisco and Oakland already have begun to suffer the consequences of climate change, although the most severe injuries by far are the injuries that will occur in the future — unless prompt action is taken to protect these cities and their residents from rising sea levels and other harms caused by global warming.

The lawsuits ask the courts to hold the defendants jointly and severally liable for creating, contributing to and/or maintaining a public nuisance, and to create an abatement fund for each city to be paid for by defendants to fund infrastructure projects necessary for San Francisco and Oakland to adapt to global warming and sea level rise. The total amount needed for the abatement funds is not known at this time but is expected to be in the billions of dollars.

The cases are: People of the State of California v. BP P.L.C. et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 17-561370, filed Sept. 19, 2017.  People of the State of California v. BP P.L.C. et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889, filed Sept. 19, 2017.

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/san-francisco-and-oakland-sue-top-five-oil-and-gas-companies-over-costs-of-climate-change-300522988.html

SOURCE City Attorney of San Francisco

HT | Bob

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OMG, what a joke! Case dismissed!

Joe _ the Non climate scientist

A joke – case dismissed – maybe not its the 9th circuit. Also have Mass v EPA to contend with, and the Wisconsin state case which held paint manufacturers had joint and several liability for lead based paint.

Mark - Helsinki

Yeah but we know and prove lead is a neurotoxic, good luck proving CO2 causes climate change in court

@ Mark H…but, but, but, but, 97%.

Wally

Of course they aren’t trying to stop the oil companies from drilling.
NO, they just want huge piles of cash from them.

“Joe _ the Non climate scientist September 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm
A joke – case dismissed – maybe not its the 9th circuit. Also have Mass v EPA to contend with, and the Wisconsin state case which held paint manufacturers had joint and several liability for lead based paint.”
Massachusetts V EPA? No effect or impact on specious lawsuits.
Wisconsin State lead paint case?
How does Wisconsin specific law affect California? Especially since prospects for the plaintiff do not look promising.

Bryan A

This sounds a lot like filing murder charges against bullet manufacturers. Whether or not CO2 released from fossil fuel use causes any net damage or is a net benefit, none of these 5 producers forced those cities to utilize their products but those cities still do. If they truly want a leg to stand on, they need to immediately divest city pension fund investments in and 100% city vehicle dependence on any form of fuel use that produces CO2 as a byproduct. Otherwise they are merely suing the bullet manufacturer for creating the bullets they themselves are using.

Samuel C Cogar

The defendant companies — Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, — should immediately stop delivery of their product to anywhere within the “city limits” of San Francisco and Oakland.

MarkW

Wally, that’s another way that the current CAGW hoopla is similar to the tobacco wars.
Even though it was proven harmful, the government didn’t ban tobacco, they just taxed the heck out of it.
So much so, that they now find themselves protecting the profits of the tobacco industry by trying to ban vaping.

oeman50

My thoughts exactly, Sammy.

Old England

And why is this claim not written to include car manufacturers and the public who drive automobiles, airplane manufacturers and everyone who has ever flown, the US Government that taxed fossil fuels, the State Government that issues driver permits, the electricity companies generating with fossil fuels, the Towns and Cities that provide parking for fossil fuelled vehicles etc. Etc.
I hope massive costs are awarded against the plaintiffs.
Time that the true villains were prosecuted – the scientists who have fudged and distorted data and those such a Gore who have peddled falsehoods and grown mega-rich on the back of them.

MarkW

In the eyes of the left, individuals are helpless pawns in the face of corporate greed.
You can’t hold such people responsible for their actions, all you can do is make sure that they have a government agent close at hand to make every major decision for them.

NME666

those were my thoughts. That all the other’s that can be impacted may just look for standing in this case. Things could get “fun” on this one. Maybe there will be a request for Mikey not so Mann(ly) to present his “documents”:-)))

GPo

Both cities run very large ICE powered fleets and admit themselves they believe in the harm caused. They should shut these vehicles down immediately or share in the liability they so believe is being created.

MarkW

Hence forth, all city workers are required to travel by bicycle, and all AC units in government buildings will be disabled.
Anything less means they are killing people. (by their standards)
What was it Alinsky wrote, destroy them by forcing them to live up to their own standards?

Curious George

Both progressive cities are out of money. Top oil companies have money.

Rhoda R

Therein lies the real motivation.

Robert of Ottawa

A case of the apocryphal lonely hearts add: “socialist with knife and fork seeks capitalist with dinner”

Pierre DM

Federal, State and local governments make more money from fossil fuels than do all the oil companies put together. They are even more culpable.

Let´s not forget, that United Nations created this mess.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”
( Sir Walter Scott Scottish author & novelist (1771 – 1832) )

RoHa

Let’s not forget that Margaret Thatcher created this mess.

Barbara

UN Environment / Climate Initiatives Platform
REN 21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century), Paris France, launched 2005
About the rapid global transition to renewable energy.
The U.S. is a member.
Other members:
UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO
Greenpeace
ICLEI
WRI
GWEC
WWEA
CAN
WWF
WCRE
The World Bank
And others
http://www.ren21.net/members
It’s no surprise that oil companies are being sued.

This looks like climate activism – combined with climate capitalism. Do we even have a word for it?
“REN21 is a global policy network that provides a forum for international leadership on renewable energy. Its goal is to bolster policy development for the rapid expansion of renewable energies in developing and industrialised economies.
Open to a wide variety of dedicated stakeholders, REN21 connects governments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations, industry associations, and other partnerships and initiatives.
Linking the energy, development and environment sectors, REN21 strengthens the influence of the unique renewable energy community that came together at the ?renewables 2004? conference in Bonn. REN21 is the network in which ideas are shared and action is encouraged to promote renewable energy worldwide. “

Barbara

UN Sustainable Development
Partnerships for SDGs
REN 21, Secretariat, (France)
Member Countries include:
Germany
UK
USA
Major Groups include:
Greenpeace (Netherlands)
http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=1619

Barbara

UN Environment
Major Groups and Stakeholders
149, Greenpeace International, Netherlands
275, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), France
367, World Resources Institute (WRI), USA
North America has 75 of these organizations and there about 400 on the list.
Click on their websites.
http://www.unep.org/about/majorgroups/resources/list-accredited-organizations
Quite a maze to navigate through.

Deception is caused by claiming to be true what isn´t known to be true:
Principles of science and ethical guidelines for scientific conduct (v8.0)

MarkW
I have never heard of a metaphorical duck.
You’re quackers.
🙂

Latitude

What sea level rise?……….comment image

Latitude

comment image

There you go again, injecting facts into a religious belief system. Water off a metaphorical duck’s back.

philincalifornia

Ironically, this could be so high profile that these f-wit kleptomaniac-wannabes could be the ones responsible for ending this hoax on humanity.
I live in Oakland. I may go watch.

MarkW

How fast does a metaphorical duck fly?

Or whether SLR is related to emissions
https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023248

Auto

Does the quack of a metaphorical duck have a metaphorical echo?
Auto

lee

The sea level rise is from models. Are they the same type of models that the climate scientists just said were wrong? Where increasing CO2 has not had the expected effect on temperatures? Where temperatures are the driver of Sea Level Rise?

Walter Sobchak

The east side of the San Andreas fault is rising. It will be above sea level no matter what happens to sea levels.

Old44

This graph only proves that the land is sinking at the same rate the oceans are rising. Or something like that.

Geoff

Do Californians create CO2 by breathing? They obviously knew that their breathing was detrimental to the environment. They have not mitigated their breathing with carbon offsets.
They MUST be enjoined with the writ. Otherwise justice is not applied equally to all.
The argument is their act of breathing causes global warming. The only way of mitigating such is by having no children. This solves the problem as eventually no more wits will be lodged, (by Californians).

Wally

No breathing mitigation.
They just allow millions of breathing illegals to enter & stay.

marnof

This could drive a stake through the heart of the thriving microbrew industry which had its beginnings in SF. All those bottles, cans and kegs, filled with high-pressure CO2 and shipped around the world, releasing their toxic vapors! Oh, the horror. It must be stopped, at all costs.

Keith J

The act of brewing beer, wine etc releases carbon dioxide from anaerobic oxidation of sugar to ethanol via yeast. Many breweries capture and repurpose produced carbon dioxide for fermentation but that is a trivial amount unless it is near beer.
Same for bakeries. Many have had to scrub exhaust from their ovens because of emissions. Yes. That wonderful smell of fresh bread is a pollutant. We are doomed.
This case is going to get interesting during discovery.

marnof

My father was an early adopter of home brewing after touring the SF and Chico breweries, and he taught me the craft. Most American beer is not bottled with the CO2 produced during fermentation. Those are special and expensive beers with residual yeast in the bottle. I imagine the majority of American brewers force-carbonate their fermented wort. Now that would be an interesting calculation, if someone could quantify the tons of CO2 dispensed in beer nationwide (not to mention soda products).

No! Let them win. Then if the earth cools over the coming decade or so we can sue them, and put them out of business entirely.

The problem is that we will all be loosers by the mess created by climate alarmism.

Science or Fiction
We’re all losers, no matter which way it goes. If the planet warms, we’ll be taxed for no reason. If it cools, it’ll be another climate catastrophe, which is taxable.

gnomish

the oil companies are less victims than collaborators.
if i’d ever seen them do anything but appease, i might have a drop of sympathy.

Perhaps it’s called ‘biding their time’.
If/when the planet cools, watch the rush to appease the energy companies.

gnomish

they’ll just update Economic Stabilization Act of 1970.

Wally

‘Them guys ain’t dumb.’ They have billions invested in ‘alternative’ energy.
Why work by drilling oil when they can get the government to give them taxpayers money?
‘And get their chicks for free.’

Phoenix44

The oil companies have no real choice – they rely on the state in all sorts of ways to do what they do, from licensing drilling trough to taxation of profits. The state has them by the b*lls and is willing to squeeze.

george e. smith

I believe that the only evidence of SEA Level Rise ANYWHERE in the vicinity of San Francisco, AND Oakland California; has been shown to be 100% due to a deliberate set of actions by the regional governmental organizations, up to and including the /State of California and the USA Federal Government, and deemed to be desirable and a positive result for the entire region and was in no sense due to any actions of ANY oil companies.
The general category of the practices involved are normally referred to colloquially as,
” Bay Fill “..
The process involves taking land that is above sea level, and breaking it up into small pieces, that can be transported to the local “sea”, AKA “The Bay”, and placed underwater.
Both San Francisco and Oakland cities have positively benefitted in the form of an increased property tax base due to the former useless dry land being submerged, until useful new land is created where there previously was none.
G

Hot under the collar

Are these City Attorney’s the new Khmer Rouge?
I don’t think the ‘year zero’ approach of reversing modern technological development which is dependent on fossil fuels worked very well for Pol Pot or Vietnam did it?
What next? Perhaps they will sue wind farm and solar panel manufacturers for knowingly using fossil fuels to produce their products and then sue themselves for wearing clothes and shoes and using mobile phones when they know they require fossil fuels to produce!
What a waste of taxpayers money.
These people are crazy zealots!

Eric

What else would you expect coming from San Fran-sicko?

Keitho

Now why aren’t they going after the really big operations like ARAMCO, PDVSPA, Petrobras, ROSNEFT,Staoil, Lukoil and so on. Diddling about with minnows such as they have seems to be lacking in ambition.

ironargonaut

someone needs to immediately sue Oakland and San Fransico for their past and current use of fossil fuels, copy most of the their complaint word for word. They know fossil fuels lead to all these bad things yet they continue to use them therefore they are guilty by their own words. They can’t file one complaint then turn around and deny the same thing against them.

They could immediately stop using products made by those companies.
What a stund!

Robertvd

They should. Let’s see how many immigrants would still want to live there. It would provoke a biblical outflow of its inhabitants.

David A

The CAGW alarmist tirade against CO2 has been public for 30 years now. All their lives the instigators of this charade in the loony 9th district have continued to use CO2, benefited from CO2 in a hundred ways including greatly reduced food costs, and collected and spent taxes from these CO2 producers.
In the mean time their has been ZERO global increase in tornados, extreme storms, droughts, rate of SL rise, and every crop on the planet grows 15% to 20% with no additional land or water required, feeding no charge close to one billion people every year.
The oil companies should counter sue for benefits provided and not collected. I should sue for the ingrates taxing me to pay for rich bastards cars and ugly windmills, all of which affect global mean T not a hemi demi semi fraction of a degree.

Sheri

Stop selling fossil fuels of any kind to Oakland and San Francisco. Otherwise, you’re helping Oakland and San Francisco contribute to sea lever rise and we would not want that. I’m sure they’ll appreciate our help in letting them live as they believe we all should.

willhaas

More than that, the cities involved should outlaw all goods and services that make use of fossil fuels. The roads and airports need to be shut down as well as all harbor facitlites. All trucks and automobiles need to be impounded. Because they are supplied by truck, all food stores and other stores need to be shut down. All buildings that involve mateirals either created by or transported by fossil fuels need to be demollished. Since there are fossil fuel plants on the power grid, the entire power grid needs to be shut down. This all needs to be done immediately.

Sara

willhaas, you’ve left out the synthetics derived from fossil fuels which include fabrics, plastics, stuff like styrofoam/styreme, etc., etc., etc., never mind the technocrap items that are made up of these substances. I don’t have a complete list, but you get the drift. It isn’t just what goes into the gas tank. It’s what’s in DiFi’s purse, too – how many plastic cards is she toting around?
If these things are all removed in their entirety from San Fran/Oakland, will that make it a cleaner, prettier city? The tidal level in San Fran bay has only risen eight inches since the Great Quake of 1906, and a tidal gauge has been in place, operating continuously since 1854, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/topics/navops/ports/supp_sanfran_tidegage.html
This is just a money grab and nothing else. Nothing to see here except greed. Move along.

philincalifornia

Perhaps you meant to say “attempted money grab” Sara?

oeman50

I disagree that the entire grid needs to be shut down, just the natural gas fired power plants and the coal plants feeding in from out of state. The they can truly see what life is like depending on 100% renewable power. Can you say “third world?”

Bryan A

Could make SF & Oakland test cases (like (SA) South Australia). Supply both cities with complete 50′ wall surrounds (sea wall protection) then cut off ALL petrolium derived energy sources and supply sources. Then allow for 50 years to pass, measure sea level increase. If zero effect, send both cities the bill (wall to be removed once bill is paid)

Frank Brown

Maybe the mayors should sue the California Government for all the oil they allowed industry to explore and produced.

rocketscientist

Unfortunately that is NOT what happened with tobacco products. The manufacture (growth) and sale of tobacco products was not terminated. Instead governments began “social engineering” wherein they attempt to coerce (extort?) citizens from some “bad” behaviors with financial impositions by imposing more and more onerous taxes on the products. The entire concept of “Carbon Emission Exchanges” are just the tip of the camel’s nose.

Sly Rik

And when a viable alternative to tobacco comes on the scene (Vaping) what do they do… demonize that and try to ban it!!!!

MarkW

Can’t have an unregulated industry cutting in on the government’s tax haul.

RS, tobacco is not analogous despite Naomi Oreskes fantasies. 1. Smoking provably is associated with significantly increased lung cancer risk (among other medical problems like blod pressure from nicotine vasorestriction). First established by the UK general surgeon in 1952. 2. Tobacco companies spent the next 30 years colluding to suppress internal confirming in vivo research while advertising smoking health benefits. Very dishonest. 3. The massive resulting RICO fines were supposed to go to public health, butnwere subverted by state governments. There was no constitutional basis for outright prohibiting smoking, so the ‘solution’ was make it very expensive and help the medical situation. It was made expensive, but then the politicians ‘stole’ the money from medical smoking sufferer solutions. Not a pretty morale picture, Naomi.

ristvan
What has to be dialled into your analysis is that the UK National Health Service (NHS) is publicly funded from taxation.
The drive to persecute smokers was not health derived, it was financially motivated. The NHS saw smokers as an expensive liability, so on the basis of saving the NHS money, government officials have been on a campaign since the 60’s to demonise the habit.
I can’t say they were/are wrong, smoking is a killer, but the motivation must be questioned.
Those of you in the US have the ability to say ”screw you, I’ll smoke, pay the insurance premiums, and forego the propaganda, thank you very much’.
We in the UK don’t have that luxury, and are forced into a guilt complex because we are doing the country harm as well as ourselves.
All our our public health ‘initiatives’ are sold on the same basis, whether they fail or not. The campaign against obesity has gone down innumerable routes, from some batty old tart on prime time TV examining the faeces of willing participants to establish their health and future prospects, to almost subliminal radio campaigns to make us all run, cycle, go to the gym, take country walks, eat 5 a day……yada, yada, yada.
All of them largely unsuccessful, but all with the inherent guilt of costing the NHS money.
Whilst the NHS is a great institution, the country is absorbed by it because politicians wield it, inappropriately, as a political mechanism to achieve bizarre ends. The fallacious claim of 40,000 deaths a year from inhaling diesel fumes was predicted on research from within the NHS. Lo and behold, diesels are banned, because 40,000 city dwellers living a day or so less than their prescribed allowance empowers the government to use the NHS bill to ban all diesels.
Meanwhile, the idiots are gobbling up wood burning stoves because they have been convinced that gas fired central heating is an environmental bogey man. Now UK cities are regressing to 1950’s style smog because the idiotic greens tell us all that burning wood is a renewable source of energy. Renewable OK, but filthy and inefficient as well, which is precisely where we left domestic coal fires in the 60’s, adopted gas fired central heating, and cleaned up our cities.
I don’t want to lose the NHS, but man, is it ever a political yoke round everyone’s neck.

Oh!…..almost forgot. The health campaigns run by governments to reduce pressure on the NHS are supported by the BBC, another government funded body who toe the party line. Errrrr………other than they are a bastion of left wing ideology within a conservative government. And I have no idea how they manage that little trick.

george e. smith

A life long friend of mine, is an expert on epidemiology and related things, and he puts it this way:
There is a body of medical evidence, that suggests that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer.
There is also a body of medical evidence that suggests that S*E*X causes babies.
The statistics say that the cigarette / cancer evidence is much more robust !
G

Wally

Cigarettes? They’re not gonna ban them, government makes tons of cash from them.
CA cigarettes are $10,00 a pack now. Most of it is pure taxes.

Phoenix44

Hotscot, smokers are not a cost to the NHS. By dying early, smokers save the NHS billions (as well as the state billions in pension costs). the NHS spends far more money on the old then smokers.
Why is the NHS (supposedly) short of funding? Because far more people are living to a ripe old age when they then require lots of money spent on them. Dying before you get old is great for the NHS in terms of funding.

David A

Hotscot, you say, “campaigns to make us all run, cycle, go to the gym, take country walks, eat 5 a day……yada, yada, yada.”
Yet when you vote in socialist policy where your neighbors pay for the treatment required by irresponsible unhealthy life style choices, this is the inevitable result of making all adults into children.

MarkW

HotScot, studies have shown that tobacco users actually cost the health care system less than do non-smokers. This counter intuitive result comes from the fact that smokers tend to die early, and quickly.
It’s the long drawn out diseases associated with old age that drain the health care system.

MarkW

The NHS is a great system if you want poor health care paid for by someone else.

MarkW

DavidA, once the state starts to pay for health care, it’s only a matter of time until things like exercise and a proper diet go from a good idea, to being mandatory.

Bryan A

In my area (Sonoma County) cigarettes are $8.80 per pack (more than a carton cost in 1975).
I quit when my wife got pergnant and haven’t looked back.
Than I saw this and was glad I quit

Of course you can get the “Special Blend” ciggies for around $6.50 per pack but they are only 20% tobacco
and 80% paper fill

The Rick

oooo…that would be rich – an ‘oil’ embargo on a couple of sanctuary cities. Do it and let those citizens, whom these politicians represent, unleash their rath on them.

techgm

Indeed. The plaintiffs make no mention of requiring that the defendants cease all the acts that the plaintiffs claim are responsible (or will be responsible) for the supposed damages; they ask only for money. Therefore, the plaintiffs have shown that they are not interested in stopping or avoiding damages; therefore, the damages must not be important to them. The case(s) should be thrown out on this basis, but we’re talking California.

Ken

Shut down the refineries that line the bays, put all of those workers on the dole, and quit delivering refined products to the entire area. Oh yes, and since you don’t do business there any more, you won’t have to pay taxes to them. Yes, you might still get dinged by the court case, and your earnings will suffer, but at the same time you will show them the reality of their apparent goal of “a world without fossil fuels”. ( I know this is unrealistic, but the contemplation of it was so sweet. I can dream, right?)

Gerald Machnee

I would shut all petroleum outlets in CA as long as the case is in court.

Marty

This is so funny.

Sunsettommy

Another STUPID lawsuit!
“San Francisco and Oakland already have begun to suffer the consequences of climate change, although the most severe injuries by far are the injuries that will occur in the future — unless prompt action is taken to protect these cities and their residents from rising sea levels and other harms caused by global warming.”
what you are suffering from is stupid leftism thinking.
What about all those Drowned Cities of the early Interglacial period,,should they have sued somebody too?

MarkW

As another judge recently affirmed, future damages need to be imminent, otherwise the court should toss the case. We’re talking the 9th here, the district that’s been over turned more than all the other districts combined.

TA

“We’re talking the 9th here, the district that’s been over turned more than all the other districts combined.”
If memory serves, I believe the last figure I saw about the Ninth Circuit overturn ratio is about 80 percent. They get it right about 20 percent of the time.

Mark T

No, they just aren’t challenged the other 20%.

Hugs

Oh this is nasty and will end nastier.
Can the attorney be held responsible for damages she caused?

Edwin

The companies could just quit selling any and all petroleum based products to the cities and the law firms involved. Most people generally don’t know that petroleum and natural gas are the basis for a lot of other products besides gasoline. Remember when California was the heart of the automobile craze in America? Maybe car owners need to start voting more carefully.

DBG8489

I like the way you think, LOL

secryn

I say if the cities continue to allow their residents to use products from these companies, now that they know that the fossil fuels are definitely causing such damage, they become accessories after the fact.

DBG8489

Here’s an idea:
The top five companies immediately stop shipping their products for sale to, or producing any products in, California.
I mean if the people of the State of California truly believe that fossil fuels cause global warming, what’s better than having them give them up all at once? It’s the least they could do…
And the rest of us would see a drastic reduction in the costs of petroleum products if Cali is out of the picture.

Sara

Wait a minute! Are you talking about An Embargo?????? Hey, I’m up for that!

Leonard Lane

Good idea. But not just petroleum and natural gas and coal. But all products made from these fuels (i.e. all plastics, all lubricants, medicines, soaps, clothing, and all of the other thousands of things).
But we should also embargo all products mined, grown, produced, and packaged and shipped using fossil fuels. Importantly for the loony leftists in these California cities and all who agree with their actions embargo alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opiates , synthetic opiates, and all medicines and recreational drugs as all depend on petroleum, natural gas, or coal in their growing, transportation, watering with water pumped from the ground or stored is a reservoir (dams are built with fuels, lubricants,steel, concrete, etc.). I am sure most of you could come up with thousands of products from fossil fuels, plants sown,cultivated, fertilized, harvested, processed, transported, and on and on.
This embargo would cost many $billions, but think of the $trillions saved over time if every good thing we try to do was not obstructed, delayed, etc. by the loony left. Moreover, necessary reforms in education, government, and all of society and industry could be vastly improved if we never heard from these loony leftists (remember no computers, electricity, grid, internet, postal service, telephones, etc. would not be available to them).
Fun to dream of a near utopia if all warmunists/leftists were not heard from anymore.

Greg Woods

LL Gov Moonbeam wanted to return Cal citizens to the caves – now is his chance…

Ken

Oil refining is a major industry in the Bay Area. Shut the refineries down.

TA

Yeah, move all those California refineries to Oklahoma. We’ll take them, and won’t sue you.

Tom Halla

It is sort of like the tobacco case, in that the plaintiffs expect to raid the coffers of industry, with most of the benefits going to the enabling governments and the plaintiffs bar.

Joel Snider

Counter sue. And never stop. Make an example out of them.

Tom Judd

Propose a class action counter suit comprised of all the investors in those five largest ‘investor’ owned fossil fuel producers. Of course those investors will certainly comprise individual investors; pension funds; institutional investors such as colleges, insurance companies, and trusts; mutual funds (especially those taken out by parents on behalf of their children so as to pay for their college educations or unforeseen expenses); and individual 401Ks invested in these companies.
The counter suit can rightfully claim that these opportunistic, wannabe famous AGs are actively engaged in a misleading campaign to undeservedly enrich themselves (yes, themselves) and the cities they represent, by acquisition of the money of workers (striving to provide for their children, their children’s futures, and their own retirements) invested in these companies. I’d say full reimbursement for legal services, any lost market share value (the suit can make up figures going out to the year 2100 too – fair is fair), and recovery should be demanded.

Climate Dissident

Why should they still sell oil based products to these cities? Run them dry. Perhaps even all of CA. See if that is worse than sea level rising.

Sara

California has its own oil fields and drilling industry. If you haven’t seen those old photos from the 1930s of drilling rigs all over the place, go find them. It’s a hoot.
Here’s a link to the most recent report on California’s oil drilling industry. I think a large part of that is exported. too.
https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfpca1&f=a

Sheri

Then they don’t need outside oil and if they continue drilling and refining, they will have to sue themselves.

Cut off the oil and gas immediately and then count the hours until they cry ‘uncle’! Also confiscate all their plastic toys, appliances, furniture and clothing etc. (made from oil!).

dmacleo

and CA also using epa laws to stop building border wall.
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/09/20/california-sues-to-stop-wall-construction-for-environmental-studies/
https://www.scribd.com/document/359449710/Wall-Complaint
In the 53-page, 11 count complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Becerra, joined by the California Coastal Commission, is asking for the wall to be stopped on the basis of federal environmental protection laws. The suit, filed against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, targets DHS’s announced plans for wall construction in the San Diego, CA area. It threatens to tie up yet another Trump administration immigration priority in the courts.
Becerra’s complaint relies on federal environmental laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), among almost thirty others. In essence, California is arguing the efforts by the Trump administration to waive these acts’ extensive demands on the projects on the border are illegal. The state, home to the country’s largest population of illegal aliens, wants the full extent of NEPA environmental impact studies and demonstrations of compliance with the Coastal Commission’s “California Coastal Management Program” before even preliminary work on wall construction can move forward. California is seeking declarations and injunctions to that effect.

Becerra’s federal lawsuit has no legs. More political grandstanding. Even if kooky California judges were to initially decide otherwise. The Illegal Immigration Reform act of 1996 was amended in 2005 to specifically authorize the border wall. Section 102a authorizes and requires literal border walls on all high illegal traffic border sections, which certainly includes San Diego county and the rest of the California Mexico border (e.g. Imperial county). Section 102b authorizes enhanced fencing , roads, lights, cameras, and sensors along the entire Mexican border. Section 102c authorizes the Secretary of DHS in his sole discretion to waive ANY legal impediment to expeditious implemention of (a) and (b).
Becerra’s only argument is that somehow 102 is unconstitutional. But it isn’t, because Article 1 section 8.1 (“provide for common defense and general welfare”) and supporting 8.18 give congress this explicit legislative power. And it is well established constitutional law that Congress may delegate details to federal agencies like DHS as it sees fit.

D. J. Hawkins

ristvan;
Isn’t it also the case that the Federal Government can’t be sued without its consent?

In general, no that is not true. Feds get sued all the time by every crank complaintant.
There are of course exceptions. For example, Congress and its members cannot be sued for what they say on the floor, or how they vote. Judges cannot be sued for their rulings; the only legal route is appeal. Patent office cannot be sued for its determinations; only route is appeal via the special patent court and then SCOTUS. Such exceptions are why law school takes three years plus a 3 month cram 8 hours/day for the whatever state two day bar exam. Basic law (criminal, property, commercial, tax, labor, securities…. is mostly common sense with added specific details (first v. Second degree murder is a matter of premeditation, the indicia of which are…). It is all the common sense exceptions where the devil is in the details that get complicated. Neither the San Fran v. Big Oil nor the California v. DHS lawsuits have any of these exception complications. That is why they are so laughably political to this recently retired lawyer.

dmacleo

its still gonna tie the process up though and slow it which is probably the only intent.
hope to slow it while hoping a dem wins next election

TA

Good information, Rud.
It is my understanding that the border fence/wall is almost completed in southern California.

D. J. Hawkins

@ristvan
Sovereign Immunity? I scanned the Wiki article and it seems that only the Tucker Act and Federal Tort Claims Act allow suits to go forward as a matter of course. Is it mostly that the Feds, for whatever reason, do not invoke the privilege?

secryn

Hasn’t the US already enacted laws pre-Trump authorizing the wall?

See my comment just above. YES, and that same law expressly allows DHS to waive any legal,impediments in the Sec. DHS SOLE discretion. Becerra is political grandstanding.

Neo

This is the same Xavier Becerra who seems to be involved int the House IT scandal.
The secret server was connected to the House Democratic Caucus, an organization chaired by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra. Police informed Becerra that the server was the subject of an investigation and requested a copy of it. Authorities considered the false image they received to be interference in a criminal investigation, the senior official said.
Data was also backed up to Dropbox in huge quantities, the official said. Congressional offices are prohibited from using Dropbox, so an unofficial account was used, meaning Awan could have still had access to the data even though he was banned from the congressional network.

Nashville

I would think that all State and Federal laws ended at the boarder, which is where the wall will be built.

MarkW

How many boarders live at the border?

Fred van der Velden

And this hits the news just days after AGW believing scientists declared that their models ran too hot and that they were wrong with their predictions. Game over San Francisco, this house of cards is crumbling and will collapse shortly.

At last – a situation where a Court should demand proof of the warmists’ case! But will it? I’d like to see them try this in front of Judge Judy.

Perhaps regretably, both of these lawsuits are so basically flawed they will never get to that point. See my comments elsewhere on the thread for the legal basics.

Legal grandstanding. Something called the Conservation Law Fund (CFL) just sued ExxonMobil in Boston for climate damage they alleged would happen to Boston Harbor from sea level rise by 2050. Under US law, there can be no damages or injunctive relief unless there is actual or imminent harm. The judge, in granting Exxon’s motion to dismiss the CFL suit, said, “CFL claims damage to Boston Harbor from sea level rise by 2050. If correct, they are free to refile their suit in 2045.” Same should apply in this case–but it is whacky Kalifornia.

Tom in Florida

That is what I was going to ask. No harm, no foul. But I think they were just playing to their own crowd in order to ask for more donations to help with the “fight”.

MarkW

No harm no fowl. And we’re back to metaphorical ducks.

Sunsettommy

Not sure about that,since they are in some of the most leftist cities in America,where they tend to believe in the obvious nonsense.
Grandstanding? I don’t think so,more like indication of pure stupidity to me.

rocketscientist

These fools have been hunkered in their echo chamber for so long they are unaware of the laughingstock they are making of themselves. Sadly they don’t realize that they are the punch line.

RS, IMO that is a good thing. The judge in the CFL v. Exxon dismissal in Boston delivered a brutal slap to CFL, exposing them for what they are–warmunist believer activists.

MarkW

Does San Francisco have enough extra cash laying around that they can afford this kind of judicial grandstanding?

By definition, no. But that financial fact has never stopped Kalifornia before. Bullet train to nowhere. Unfunded public employees pension/health hundreds of billions. Bankrupt cities. Proposed one payer health care. All good. Until the rest of the country refuses to bail them out. A race to the financial bottom between California and Illinois.

It is a potentially valid legal point about imminent=>inevitable but uncertain timing. The solid counter attack is on inevitable. Current SLR has not accelerated as models predicted. See my guest post ‘SLR, acceleration, and closure’ for the court admissible evidence. And there are several other provable model fails, as well as an irrifutable underlying explanation as to why (see guest post ‘Why Models run hot’). So ‘inevitable’ is only in provably flawed model predictions. As the judge in Boston recognized, no imminent danger.

Keith

Is this not a golden opportunity to properly debate the issue in court? This is like the red team blue team but paid for by the defendants. This may well boomerang badly for Oakland and San Francisco litigators.

Bruce Cobb

It feels like we have crossed over into the Climate Zone.

bruce

I’d love to see the oil companies stop all sales of petroleum products tomorrow morning and see the SHTF

Mark - Helsinki

This is a dead donkey of a suit, and I think they know it. Frivilous lawsuit. PR stunt.
There is no change they can show CO2 causes climate change sufficiently to get a win here, there is no evidence after all.

MarkW

If it does go to trial, I’m hoping the oil companies attorney’s are smart enough to bring in all of the positive benefits of warmer weather (especially to San Francisco) and CO2.

Greg61

Social cost versus social benefit – anyone with 1/10th of a brain knows where the balance lies. I guess that leaves out San Francisco and Oakland.

Thomas Homer

social benefit … fossil fuels freed the human intellect to conceive and implement bulk food production and distribution, electricity, vaccines, X-Rays, antibiotics, air travel, space exploration …
The unintended consequence of burning fossil fuels is increased atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. CO2 is the base of the food chain for carbon based life forms, and is freely dispersed around the world for all to access. Polar bears, panthers, porpoises, and penguins all benefit from increased photosynthesis/phytoplankton. The Carbon Cycle of Life is more robust with increased atmospheric CO2.

David A

Bingo.

John

This is what happens when one dismisses everything that runs counter to the AGW claims.

RWturner

Well, should the Citizens of the United States file a class action on SanFran and Oakland? They are quite possibly directly causing financial harm to anyone with a 401k with this lawsuit and indirectly causing financial harm to everyone else. Furthermore, these cities have continued to purchase and use gasoline and diesel in their cities for decades when, in their explicit beliefs, this activity causes direct harm to all citizens of the world.

john

Speaking of oil…Greenpeace Pirates board ship carrying Volkswagens and force it to turn around.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-4907764/Activists-force-ship-carrying-Volkswagen-cars-turn-Greenpeace-says.html

john
Sara

I love stuff like that!

Hugs

#greenpeace #pantsdown Lovely!

MarkW

How many extra gallons did Greenpeace cause that ship to burn.

Rhoda R

We used to hang pirates.

And still should. Alas, modern ships no longer have yardarms. OTH, keelhauling should still work.

MarkW

Sailors are good at adapting. They’ll find a suitable substitute.

Political Junkie

Did Mann, Schmidt, Hansen et. al. ever use petroleum products? As self-declared experts they knowingly put humanity at risk.
They should be sued!

Mat

Hmm… Someone will need to sue all the politicians then. Because Oil company profits are a drop in the bucket compared to amount of revenue brought in via taxes on oil…

John in Oz

Politicians also granted the leases that the oil companies need in order to produce their product. Doesn’t this make them as responsible as the oil companies as due diligence should have required them to consider all aspects of their decision to allow the leases?

wws

In the old days they would have been hoping for a big settlement out of court, as the companies wouldn’t want to fight this.
But I think Chevron has demonstrated that they’re not playing that game any more.
Btw, if it goes to a San Francisco jury, I have no doubt that they will get an Eleventy Gazillion dollar award. But it will never stand up. (In a San Francisco Court, I imagine the only “evidence” allowed will be photoshopped picture of polar bears and little children crying)

Nigel S

twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
of each one,

MarkW

The oil companies know that if they give into the greenmail in this case, every city and state in the country will immediately file their own lawsuits.

If they go to court they will finally have to produce evidence. Looking forward to that.

Mr Bliss

Don’t hold your breathe – We are still waiting for Mann’s ‘evidence’

SocietalNorm

YES

Beta Blocker

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If California’s politicians don’t enact a stiff tax on all carbon fuels sold in California; if they don’t adopt a policy of imposing what amounts to a carbon fuel rationing scheme on all the citizens of their state; if they don’t force an end to the extraction of petroleum from the oil fields located within their state’s borders; and if they continue to allow the purchase of fossil-generated electricity from in-state and out-of-state sources, then they can be rightly accused of using the issue of climate change as nothing more than an excuse for shaking down the oil companies and for pursuing their own brand of California crony capitalism.

Earthling

I am glad I am not paying property taxes in SF or Oakland. Spending that kind of money on a frivolous lawsuit, for both sides plus court costs, is just stupid and irresponsible. They have 0 chance of winning, although will just be another nail in the coffin for CAGW. Perhaps is is nonsense like this that triggers the population and media in turning the tide on this stupid debate, that we have had enough of these lies by elected retarded civil servants.

MarkW

How long till one or more of our trolls start to claim that the fact that these politicians have brought suit is proof that global warming is real, dangerous and caused by man.

David S

Aren’t all buyers of fossil fuels equally guilty? Don’t those cities consume those products too? Maybe those cities should sue themselves.

Rhoda R

Those cities are probably also getting tax dollars from the gasoline tax at the pump

Joey

A ridiculous lawsuit in front of a ridiculous court. If they want to sue anybody, they should be suing the end user of the products. That is…..EVERYBODY.

A good lawyer can sink their ship on just the cumulative emissions issue, one would think. Without that piece of bad statistics they have no way to relate anything to emissions and with it they have a tool to relate everything to emissions.
https://ssrn.com/abstract=3000932

Ed Zuiderwijk

Carbondioxide is not an important climate driver. Greenies, however, belief it is. And it appears that oil companies also kind of belief it is.
So, we have the situation that one group believers in fairies is sueing another group of believers in fairies for not having done anything about the fairies.

Good call. It has not passed me by that oil companies have at times quietly helped the GHG hoax along as they see coal as competition and they know planes and cars need their products so, until now, they have been let off the global warming hook.

Rhoda R

Aren’t most of the fossil fuel companies also invested in alternate fuels as well.

Sheri

Rhoda: They are heavy into wind and solar. All those subsidies and tax breaks allow them to build new NG plants.

Terry Gednalske

Rhoda: Some of “the accused” are. At one time BP claimed to be “Beyond Petroleum”.

Another sign climate activists are shifting the battleground to the courts where a sympathetic judge, or even a jury can strike a blow, even when political persuasion has failed at the ballot box. Since both the science and the law are murky, and since big oil companies have deep pockets, opportunists are going to give it a shot.
Recent rulings from the DC Court of Appeals illuminate the struggle on the bench to deal with these issues, and how the particular case and circumstances can lead to surprising judgments.
On August 8, 2017 a ruling by the DC Court of Appeals was hailed by me as a “gamechanger”, since the text was the most sensible thinking from judges I have seen regarding the climate issue. Then August 22 we get a ruling from the same court coming down on the opposite, “same old, same old” side. Looking at the two rulings reveals how the judiciary is struggling with claims of global warming/climate change.
The details are in a post https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/judiciary-climate-confusion/

David A

…sure sounds like a formula to keep the judges and attorneys un-gainfully employed.

Trebuchet

What’s even more ludicrous is that government entities raise far more revenues per gallon sold from gas taxes than the oil industry.

The big joke here is that Fort Ross was built in the early 1850’s underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The fort was protected by a seawall, and that seawall is still in place after all of these years, performing it’s duty of protecting the fort from the ravages of the sea. So the claim that there has been any costs to the city of SF due to rising seas is a false one from the outset. The only claim that the lawsuit may attempt to make is that there may be future costs due to AGW. Given that the seas have been steadily rising anyway for thousands of years, and will certainly continue to rise for some time in the future I do not see how the lawyers will be able to make their claim stick.

More than that, enter into SF Bay and on the south side there is the St Francis Yacht Club. To the north across the Bay from there is the town of Sausalito. All of the seawalls protecting the St Francis Yacht Club which was founded in 1927, and the harbor and town of Sausalito were built back in the early 1900s. All of those seawalls are still 100% functional after all of this time.

Tom Halla

Are you sure about that name? Fort Ross is a town well north of SF, and when I lived in the area, the brick fortress under the bridge was called Fort Point.

Thanks Tom. I meant to say Fort Point. Not enough sleep last night.

San Francisco’s tide gauge shows absolutely no trend or increase in sea level since 1980.

Mr Bliss

Using facts and evidence again – 97% of all climate scientists say that’s not allowed

California generally doesn’t let facts get in the way of beliefs. Your observation is far too rational–tipping points, dontcha know?

Nigel S

The old order changeth, yielding place to new and God fulfills himself in many ways. … Oh, my boys, my boys, we’re at the end of an age. We live in a land of weather forecasts and breakfasts (Brexits?) that set in.

David A

Although Mr Steele would make an excellent witness for the defense.

Juan Slayton

I dunno Jim, NOAA disagrees, showing 1.94 millimeters a year over 119 years:
https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9414290
But there must be quite a current across the bay, with Alameda showing only .72 millimeters a year over 117 years:
https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9414750
: > )

Juan Slayton

Make that 77 years for Alameda. Point should survive the exaggeration.

Mark T

Pretty disingenuous since he specifically said “since 1980” and the trend line is calculated over 119 years.

Bruce Andrews

Ridiculous of course, but… consider the implications for the good guys – DISCOVERY!!! – on all “studies” sited in support of this nonsense.
The companies should counter sue and nail them to the wall for good – recent example Chevron.

Good grief, I suggest they immediately stop the sale of all petroleum products in the litigious areas otherwise it will only make things worse for themselves and the climate.

Gordon Weir

Are you sure the date on this wasn’t April 1??

Mr Bliss

If, like the UK, the big oil companies own petrol stations, they should immediately announce their closure in SF. Then wait for the city lawsuits demanding they re-open them

Most of the US stations are privately owned, and not by big oil. Only exception is Citgo, owned by PDVSA of Venezuela.

DHR

If actual data means anything in a California court of law, then perhaps the PSMSL.org website (or the NOAA version – same data for the USA) will be instructive to the Court. The PSMSL data shows about 150 mm of sea level rise in San Francisco since 1850; not a typo, 1850. That’s about 1 mm/year for over 150 years. There is no inflection in the data for recent decades, or any group of decades. Sounds to me like these cities are committing a RICO crime.

nn

The prophecy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is true and profitable.
These are the same mystics who believe that babies are delivered by stork at the time of viability. Also, that “judge people by the content of their character” actually means “judge people by the color of their skin” (a.k.a. “diversity”). Conflation of logical domains is the beginning, not the end of catastrophic anthropogenic progressive corruption.

utbw42

..and all I see is “future” and “might be” or “could cause”…all speculation on crap…

Sara

It’s a scramble for money. It’s a political ploy to throw up in a TV campaign ad. It’s ridiculous attention-grabbing stuff.
It would be really nice if they stopped making up baloney and just admit that they (meaning SF/governorship) are incompetent greedy jerks who don’t know how to manage money, so they want more of YOURS.
Of course, SanFran being a major shipping port and all that, it could have a negative impact on incoming cargo ships. Yeah, that’s it – they could go to New York or Houston or Corpus Christie or Chicago – you know: cities that would welcome their parking fees.

Wharfplank

With plenty of pre-trial publicity and a bit of judge shopping…it’s Bob’s your uncle.

Steve Lohr

This is hive (Oakland San Francisco) from which much virtue signaling emanates. I can recall a certain Willie Brown driving a pavement roller over the mean ol’ black rifles in a demonstration of true kalifornia nutbagism. Hey, there is a reputation to embellish, what better way than strike at the heart of the mean ol’ capitalist system with a law suit. My reaction, go ahead, take that BIG bite! Now, START CHEWING because there is a long way to go before this gets swallowed.

There are plenty of historical examples of courts enabling political/social movements with rulings that a favorable to said movements. Do not underestimate the unscrupulous capacity of courts.
Andrew

Thats why Gorsuch to SCOTUS was a big deal.

MarkW

If they don’t aggresively counter sue for the cost of defending these crank lawsuits, pretty soon every city and state across the country will try to get a few bucks by filing one of these.