Legal Experts Accuse New York Climate Crusaders Of Overstepping The Law

From The Daily Caller

1:23 PM 02/15/2019 | Energy

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Several attorneys general and legal experts accused New York Thursday of overstepping the law after the state leveled lawsuits against energy companies for supposedly contributing to man-made global warming.

Attorneys general from Indiana, Alabama, Texas and several others filed amicus briefs in support of fossil fuels companies as New York City appeals the dismissal of its climate change lawsuit.  New York University Law Professor Richard Epstein and the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) added their support for the companies as well.

“New York City’s effort to use New York’s state common law of public nuisance to regulate global climate change presents issues of extraordinary importance to the Amici States, for it attempts to extend New York law across not only the United States, but the entire world,” the states noted.

U.S. District Judge John Keenan dismissed the lawsuit in July 2018, arguing that litigating 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.”

It’s the third such lawsuit brought against oil companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips. A U.S. District Court judge in Northern California struck down identical lawsuits in 2018 brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. The WLF brief made similar comments in its brief.

Environmental activist protests against fossil fuel in front of the venue of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland December 10, 2018. Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski via REUTERS

“Whether it admits it or not, however, the city seeks both to direct national public policy and to instigate a tort-law revolution,” the group noted in their court document. WLF’s briefs also come as supporters for the energy companies criticize the trial attorneys behind the litigation. (RELATED: Judge Tosses Out New York City’s Climate Change Lawsuit)

Hagens Berman, for instance, stood to earn billions of dollars in contingency fees depending on the total winnings, from a favorable judgment against oil companies. San Francisco, New York City and Oakland claimed billions of dollars worth of damage from global warming induced by fossil fuels.

Epstein meanwhile has long been skeptical of such lawsuits. Thursday’s brief was no exception.

“The city’s claims, if allowed, would expand the law of public nuisance far beyond its common law foundations, and, in doing so, would lead to a morass of litigation that would produce arbitrary, inconsistent and ill-considered outcomes in multiple jurisdictions in the United States and even overseas,” he stated.

Manufacturers also blasted off against New York City’s appeal.

The National Association of Manufacturers argued that New York City must avoid using climate talk to bludgeon the energy industry. “Defendants are engaged in the production and sale of lawful products essential to modern life. The City must not be allowed to turn the promotion and sale of energy into a liability-inducing event.”

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92 thoughts on “Legal Experts Accuse New York Climate Crusaders Of Overstepping The Law

    • Can I sue NY for disenfranchisement since they are making laws that effect me but don’t let me have any representative in the process? I am serious by the way.

  1. The Crusade(s) were a self-defense response to invasion and existential threat. The anti-carbon activism is more like an adventure for an unprincipled, and, more so, prophetic cause. A warlock hunt of a kind, that was/is favored in politically congruent circles.

  2. Just a sleazy attempt at a back-door carbon tax that no legislator would have to take the heat for voting on.

    • New York could have banned all cars. 🙁
      They didn’t. If I was a judge I would ask the city officials and their lawyers to explain why they still use internal combustion vehicles. Then I would issue an injunction prohibiting said officials and their lawyers from driving or riding in any internal combustion engined vehicle for the duration of the trial. The trial process could take a year or more.

      Sarc

      • If I were the judge, I would ban the lawsuit supporters, their attorneys and hangers not only from using fossil fuel powered vehicles but also from using electric powered conveyances, since electrical power in New York has a large fossil fuel component. This would include the subways, PATH tubes and all EVs.

  3. Perhaps if major corporations threatened to follow Amazon out of the state, this nonsense would stop. A ‘negative return’ on these lawsuits is needed.

  4. The energy companies need to pull their head out of their butts, and shut the fuel off to these Marxist nit wit states, and grind to a dead stop.

    • A more subtle way to react would be to make energy invoices transparent.
      The base price being that without green subsidies etc. with additional costs listed as say: Backup Costs, Carbon Tax, Litigation contingency, Green subsidies, etc. etc.

      Voters would then have the information required to enable a decision.

  5. The simple solution is for gasoline deliveries to be halted on New York for a couple of weeks. Would’nt cost much.

    • Not just gasoline. All “fossil Fuels”. No coal. No fuel oil. etc. How I wish they could put the hammer down and do it. Such an apocalyptic event would get the point across in a hurry and end these BS suits. But we know it just isn’t going to happen. What is it with people from NY? They run Amazon off there by preventing a huge expansion of the tech industry in NYC and now they want to run off the suppliers of the fuel for their business and industrial machine. NY is NOT open for business is the theme as those with wealth flee the high taxes of the place like never before thus hurting the states tax base considerably.

      • “What is it with people from NY?”

        Answer: They want money without having to work for it. (Just ask AOC.)

          • That’s one of the biggest problems with governments. Despite the claims of certain idiots that government and people are indistinguishable, the reality is that government only represents the winners in the latest election.

            Everyone suffers under the government that half elect.

          • LOL MarkW. I enjoyed reading that thread.

            I’m here for the psychology of the beast. It’s fascinating. They are so sure they are right, but they can’t explain it.

        • Exactly. Elections have consequences.
          If you elect idiots to represent you, then you should suffer the consequences of how they represent you.

          It would be a wake-up call for liberals everywhere.

          • The most entertaining consequence of the mid-term elections is the fact that Pelosi can say NO to the POTUS, and he can’t do anything about it, except try to subvert the Constitution with his phony declaration of an emergency.

          • Not a bit of “hatred” MarkW, the “show” being put on by the TV reality star is entertaining.

          • I don’t remember you complaining when Obama was ignoring the constitution.
            Regardless, just because your handlers tell you something, doesn’t make it true.

          • Mr rah: Not only do you not know me, but you falsely accuse me of being a “leftist.”
            ..
            MarkW, please refresh my memory……when did Obama declare a state of emergency to subvert Congressional appropriation power?
            ..
            PS MarkW, which of Obama’s executive orders were blocked by court injunctions and litigated?
            ..
            roger: The longest government shutdown in history was not a “win.” If you doubt me, look at polling data.

          • The most entertaining consequence of the mid-term elections is the fact that Pelosi can say NO to the POTUS, and he can’t do anything about it, except try to subvert the Constitution with his phony declaration of an emergency.

            When I first came across this concept, I was amazed that the US political system would effectively cripple an elected president by allowing the people to vote in politicians who are against the president. Why have such a strange system?

            Then I realized, it’s probably deliberate! It gives the people a chance to cripple a president they don’t approve of, thereby reducing potential harm and curbing their power. It happened to Obama in his second year, as I recall, although my memory is poor.

            What I find hilarious now is that Trump has exactly the same situation as Obama had, and is doing essentially exactly the same things, government shutdown, spending billions outside of congressional approval, and yet Trump is an evil villain, and Obama was a saint!

          • That sort of reasoning would make sense if Western nations were Rule of Man rather than Rule of Law. The US, at one time, was a Constitutional Republic where the Rule of Law prevailed and We The People elected caretakers of a nation, not randomly select people who act as Simon (with guns) in a country-wide version of Simon Says.

          • Kieth Sketchley…. Obama declared “State of Emergency” power 12 times. The two most onerous of those was to do the deal with Iran and to invade Libya…. but Obama used it to push through Obamacare as well.

            Obama was famous for saying…. If I can’t get Congress to do it, “I’ve got a Phone and a Pen.”

            He used executive orders and Emergency powers to enact many of his initiatives, most of which President Donald Trump immediately repealed on being sworn into Office.

            Bill Clinton used Emergency Powers 17 times. George Bush 14 times.

          • “Keith Sketchley February 16, 2019 at 3:27 pm
            Mr rah: Not only do you not know me, but you falsely accuse me of being a “leftist.””

            Oh yes I do. I know the type right off the bat. The type that celebrates unconstitutional acts by one side but condemns them from the other. The type that does not understand that the primary reason the founders deemed the Articles of Confederation inadequate is because the Articles did not provide adequately for the common defense. IOW coordination of the states to protect the citizens. Defense is the FIRST responsibility of the government because liberty, justice, and the potential for prosperity will be lost without it. A majority of congress critters ignored their oath, the POTUS takes his seriously, but you object.

          • exactly rah. We know he’s a leftist from the (often hypocritical) posts he makes.

            MarkW rah, he’s not a leftist, he’s a socialist.

            those are two sides of the same coin

          • Keith,
            Obama was the President that showed just how much Congress can be side-stepped using EOs; remember the “pen and cellphone” comment? Trump is just following his example. Same as the “nuclear option” in the Senate. The Democrats did it first, then were shocked (shocked, I say) when the Republicans did the same thing to them. Seems hypocritical to complain that your opposition uses the same tactics as you do.

    • To get New York’s attention simply shutdown the pipelines that recharge New York’s natural gas storage wells during the summer. Where will they find additional energy to heat and generate power for much of the winter?

  6. The target is the US Constitution – regime change.

    How does the NY District Court like getting the Venezuela treatment?

    Lie down with regime change neo-cons, get up with fleas.

  7. New York residents could sue the state, and city, for malfeasance and losses from the reckless, non-functional, and wasteful laws it forces them to pay for. Citizens deserve at least a modicum of efficiency and straight forward enforcement of the laws in place.

    • But they will keep on trying, and sooner or later one of them might get lucky with a sympathetic judge, and score. My knowledge of US law, politics and all that stuff is a bit limited, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens first in California. Based on what I see in the news.

      • Getting a sympathetic judge is just the first step. any ruling by that sympathetic judge will be appealed. and the appeal ruling will be brought to the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will have the final say – that’s why the leftists went scorch earth in their attempts to prevent Kavanaugh from becoming a Justice, and why (should Trump get another chance to nominate a justice) they’ll be even more vicious next time.

  8. The greens should get their wish; no fossil fuels… for them. No driving in cars powered by gas or diesel, no furnaces that burn natural gas, oil or propane, no hot water from gas, oil, or propane, no gas ovens and no electricity generated from gas, oil, coal or nuclear power. The rest of us can still have those things.

    • Actually why doesn’t someone sue the attorneys bringing the lawsuits for damages from their use of fossil fuels? Use exactly the same logic. Don’t go after any government entities because they are probably immune, but if you go directly after the law firm(s) attorneys, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

      Not sure how the attorneys could dispute the lawsuit without ruining their own case.

      • New York residents should file two suits against the state, and city:

        1. For using fossil fuels that they know contribute to man-made global warming, and
        2. For malfeasance and losses from the reckless, non-functional, and wasteful laws and lawsuits.

      • Based on NY AG logic, the oil companies are at fault (portion of fault to be determined) for “pollution”. So they file suit against oil companies.

        Based on my logic, NY City (and all cities in New York State) have facilities use agreements that allow utility companies to utilize the rights-of-way to serve the people in the cities. The through these agreements the cities receive income from the gas companies. As such the cities in New York State are also facilitating pollution that will impact all of us (wherever we live). They need to be sued so the portion of their fault can be determined … The NY State AG has set up the blueprint for the suit, someone just needs to alter it to sue the State.

    • As above, simply offer this as a settlement of the “nuisance”, like getting rid of a barking dog. If they won’t settle to get rid of the nuisance then they need say what their solution is. They will end up looking stupid.

  9. The Democrats are coming for your fire in all its forms. No oil, gas, diesel, NG, biomass, waste to energy…all of it. For the children and grandchildren.

    • They’ll reduce us to having to chop down all the trees for firewood – and then they’ll outlaw that too.

      • That is exactly where I’m going for the rest of the afternoon. Half a gallon of gas (&oil) for the saw, pickup load of wood, and three weeks worth of no electric bills.

        (not outlawed yet, but there have been between around 10 no-burn days this winter so far)

      • Kevin, you don’t have to chop down trees at all. You can collect all the deadwood from the trees that have already died, fallen and seasoned. They’ll rot if you don’t utilize them, and if you are cleaning up the deadwood in the forests of California, you’ll be doing your part in minimizing the frequent wild fires.

        • Depends on how much wood you need.
          The heat all the homes without electricity, you are going to need to chop down all of the trees.

        • Keith Sketchley February 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm
          wrong. Dead wood falls for a reason .Great for camp fires but bad for wood piles. BUGS!!!!
          Great way to get TERMITES!!!
          Now have you ever cut fire wood?

          michael

  10. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    (Edmund Burke)
    Good men have been doing nothing for far too long, and we’re on the brink of it being too late to escape the evil. Those “good men” out there are more stupid selfish spineless and sick than good, methinks.
    (And women)

    • Just to be aware: the Left is trying to kneecap this line of reasoning with their “toxic masculinity” crusade on America’s college campuses.

  11. Using the theory of public nuisance as an excuse to regulate opens the door to the state regulating every action and word by individuals.

  12. These suits keep being filed, and keep being shot down.
    How long until the courts start awarding legal fees to the oil companies?
    There can’t be a single attorney in the country who is not aware of the fate of prior suits.

    • Making a government pay the legal fees if they lose a lawsuit will not be effective.

      Have you ever talked to someone who has worked for a government institution all their life? A business has to earn money. As a result they understand how hard it is to get money. Government, however, do not earn money; they take money. As a result they do not understand how hard money. Entrenched government workers do not understand the value of money.

      If you make a government pay the legal fees, they will just find another tax to pay for it. Which always means less money in the pockets of the taxpayers. The places that would sue oil companies would never ever think of spending less to pay legal fees.

      No, what really needs to be done is to make the key individuals pay legal fees, penalties, etc. You make New York pay Exxon legal fees, they will just permanently raise taxes. You make Mayer DeBlaiso pay … it would stop instantly. You make Apple (as an example, not as something specific) pay for stiffing competition, it is a tax writeoff. You make Steve Cook pay … Apple wouldn’t do it again.

      • I’m more worried about them using the legal system to so drain the oil companies that they will settle just to be free of the nonsense.

        It’s a common way of winning when you have deep pockets but a weak case.

      • There was an article a few years back in Range magazine where a judge made 2 government employees personally pay a fine for harassing and illegal actions against a rancher. Judicial fines like that make people stand up and take notice, wish we could see more of it.

        If you’re curious, it had to do with forcing him off areas of range land by taking control of the water for his stock.

  13. We could also file a lawsuit against photovoltaic industry for using a possibly outdated value of Planck’s constant leading to possibly under optimal efficiencies in their products without informing the public.

    Mrs. AOC, what follows could be your new crusade for a better world, fundamental essence of your new new green deal:

    The magnitude of climate catastrophic effects vastly justifies legal action for the attribution of more suitable to the extraction of clean energy values to impeding physics constants and the suppression of outdated physics laws such as those supported by the lobby of conservative physicists.

    Further, we claim the absolute and urgent necessity to abolish science and engineering as they systematically oppose the potential benefits over-unity production of clean green energy.

  14. Ya know, the energy industry should do what’s been demanded, turn off all “non-green” energy supplies. If the mandate is, say, 40% renewable in 2019, then only provide 60% non-renewable. Let the states with green mandates fill their needs greenly when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. If that was done in CA the internet would go dark.

  15. Leftwing Billionaires have been buying themselves assistant district attorneys in various US states to prosecute climate change issues and I think New York is one of those states, where undue outside influence is being brought to bear on State Attorney Generals to prosecute for partisan political purposes.

    The new U.S. Attorney General should investigate this corrupting practice by billionaire political activists who are trying to twist the justice system to favor themselves and their issues to the detriment of the rest of us.

  16. How much is this lawsuit going to cost and who is paying it? When it fails, will those administrators that brought the lawsuit be financially penalized for a wasteful exercise? Why this frivolous exercise when climatologists cannot agree on the ideal average temperature for every region?
    This is lunacy on steroids!

  17. So sad for taxpayers that officials, supposedly working on their behalf, are wasting their money on such stupid attempts to blackmail major corporations.

    Of course, the fact it is being done by lawyers, & that other lawyers are the main financial beneficiaries of this legal action, does not mean that money has/will change hands under the table. It is also a fact that the lawyers who initiated these legal actions are hoping to benefit politically by raising their public profile.

  18. I wonder how long New York City would survive if ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips all stopped delivering their products to New York City???

    • That’s the objective! These useful idiots have not read history either – the real kind, not the feely kind currently taught. If they had, they would know they would be the first in the gulags once the revolution is won because they are a threat to the dictators.

  19. I’m sure that New York welcome like suits by the relatives of those murdered by illegal aliens who were in the city based on sanctuary cities. Had the city turned those over to ICE, their loved ones would still be alive and #NewYorkKnew

  20. These law suits are not about stopping CO2 emissions. This is an attempt to use the CC scam to extort money by a group of individuals who will then distribute this money to other similar minded individuals (including those who choose not to work) for which they claim entitlement. This concept is otherwise know as socialism.

    Of course the major emitter of global CO2 is China, a country that emits around twice that of the USA, and is not surprisingly praised by the same green alarmists and their associated media propaganda outlets, because they are a socialist/communist country.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/10/china-on-track-to-lead-in-renewables-as-us-retreats-report-says

    Aside from the praise, you’ll notice that these Green propaganda news outlets never mention China’s vastly dominating CO2 emissions and you’ll also never see the Green protest army camped outside a Chinese embassy in any country, demanding they stop their evil ways. Perhaps this is the most single importnat clue to understanding their real intentions.

    • Yes many protested and boycotted South Africa for their sins.
      Not a problem for China and India.
      Zero protests anywhere in the World.

  21. It’s the third such lawsuit brought against oil companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips. A U.S. District Court judge in Northern California struck down identical lawsuits in 2018 brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. The WLF brief made similar comments in its brief.

    This is just like election recounts, or USSR vs USA in Olympic Basket Ball. It will be tried over and over and over and over again until they win and it will stick.

  22. Now that there are people saying they aren’t having children because of climate change hysterics and others are clinically depressed and perhaps some people have committed suicide, When will the first law suits start coming through the system and hold to account the wild claims made by “scientists”” and media that are driving this madness?

  23. Steve Berman can’t get those billions now.
    It’s all over for him because Trump fixed the Supreme Court.
    Berman will be too old by the time the Dems take the Court back.
    No doubt another Berman will surface to make his fortune from corrupt State Govs.
    They pay millions in advance regardless (contingency fees are the bonus).
    Our money hard at work . . .
    Unfortunately, the Dems will re-take the Supreme Court sooner than expected.
    It’s clear now Trump is on the Cartel payroll, so his future in the WH is not looking good.

  24. This is a clear statement of the stupidity of such lawsuits:

    … turn the promotion and sale of energy into a liability-inducing event.

    … like turning the treatment and distribution of water into a liability-inducing event.

    OR

    … like turning the production and distribution of red meat into a liability-inducing event.

    How can bringing lawsuits on people who provide products and services to enable civilization as we know it even be allowed ? How has the legal system degraded to the point that such lawsuits even remotely stand a chance of being viewed as serious ?

  25. Earth to Mark.
    You’re intelligent, clinical and skeptical except in relation to your preferred political masters where you allow a large element of emotion to color your thinking (a character flaw bedeviling most Americans).
    I challenge you to clinically analyse the Trump show of late.
    If you do, you’ll arrive at the above conclusion (and like me, wish you hadn’t).
    Before you embark on the analysis, study the methods of the paymasters.
    They own most Dems and some Repubs.
    It’s nothing like you might imagine.
    It’s all done so nicely and with great patience, sophistication and generosity.
    Nothing remotely like their street methods.

  26. Lawsuits like this should bring with them penalties of significance against those making them.
    Maybe a couple billion dollars taken from New York City would stop any future attempts by other cities.

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