Judges Explain Why They Are Knocking Down Enviro Attempts To Sue Oil Companies Into Oblivion

From The Daily Caller

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

Chris White Tech Reporter

January 21, 2020 4:30 PM ET

  • Activists who are working to level lawsuits on oil companies and the federal government are reeling after a series of brutal defeats, with one environmentalist saying a child-led climate lawsuit was a “big ask.”
  • Judges have nixed climate lawsuits leveled at the Trump administration and ExxonMobil, respectively, leaving similar litigation in Baltimore in limbo.
  • The judges in the children’s climate lawsuit argue that it is “beyond our constitutional power” to force President Donald Trump to tackle global warming.

Activist-led attempts to hold the government and oil companies responsible for climate change through the court system are hitting a brick wall as judges argue such efforts are unlikely to gain traction.

A panel of judges knocked down a lawsuit on Jan. 17 in which a large group of young people sued the Trump administration for not doing more to tackle global warming. One of the judges in that case strenuously dissented, suggesting that the court might curse the day it nixed the argument.

Children do not have standing to sue the federal government for not adequately addressing climate change, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in the case. The 21 young people argued the government had a constitutional responsibility to cut support for fossil fuels.

President Donald Trump has made headway in recent months changing the makeup of the 9th Circuit Court. He nominated Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke to the court in September 2019. They would raise the number of Trump’s 9th Circuit appointees to nine.

The panel did not buy the argument. “Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,” the panel wrote in their decision.

Judge Andrew Hurwitz ruled that it was “beyond the power” of his court to mandate the federal government to set climate policy, writing that the case “must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large.”

The panel argued the government had competing interests, including “economic or defense considerations.” One judge dissented, arguing that the climate case was a matter of “social justice” and that delaying the matter further could have a negative impact on the plaintiff’s lives.

“The denial of an individual, constitutional right— though grievous and harmful—can be corrected in the future, even if it takes 91 years. And that possibility provides hope for future generations. Where is the hope in today’s decision?” Judge Josephine Staton wrote in her dissent.

She added: “Plaintiffs’ claims are based on science, specifically, an impending point of no return.” (RELATED: 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Deals Brutal Blow To Teens Who Sued Trump Over Climate Change)

“From the outset, it was a big ask,” Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Courts simply do not have it in their power in the United States to command the entire energy system.”

This is the second climate lawsuit judges have nixed in a matter of months. New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, argued in a 2018 lawsuit that ExxonMobil deceived customers, exposing “the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe.”

New York’s Supreme Court cleared the company in November 2019, effectively ending New York’s nearly four-year-long crusade against the company, which began in 2015 with an investigation and ended with a lawsuit lodged in New York.

Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman initially led the effort before resigning under disgrace.

Judge Barry Ostrager appeared to treat James’s concerns seriously before eventually dismissing the case outright. “Nothing in this opinion is intended to absolve ExxonMobil from responsibility for contributing to climate change,” he wrote in his opinion.

Ostrager found James’s case fell short in demonstrating that the oil company violated an anti-fraud law.

“The Court finds that the Office of Attorney General failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that ExxonMobil made any material misrepresentations that ‘would have been viewed by a reasonable investor as having significantly altered the “total mix” of information made available,’” Ostrager wrote in a memo.

Activist-led lawsuits are still in the offing. The U.S. Supreme Court, for instance, rejected in October 2019 a request from several energy companies to block a Baltimore lawsuit seeking to hold Exxon and other oil producers responsible for producing carbon emissions.

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January 22, 2020 6:09 am

Thanks for posting this here at WUWT, Charles.


Mike Bryant
January 22, 2020 6:18 am

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Climate Dough Zone! DOH!

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Mike Bryant
January 22, 2020 6:46 am

Mike: ‘CliDoughze’ sounds like the name of medication.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
January 22, 2020 7:11 am

Probably in the narcotic family.

paul courtney
Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2020 10:47 am

Made me sleepy.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  MarkW
February 3, 2020 5:52 am

paul courtney January 22, 2020 at 10:47 am

Made me sleepy: Take some


January 22, 2020 6:32 am

Let’s get some funding together to sue the activists for using co2. I’m sure all have them have driven in internal combustion engine car at least once.

Reply to  Stevek
January 22, 2020 6:57 am

I am a farmer and would like to sue them for attempting to remove my natural plant food

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  Stevek
January 22, 2020 8:03 am

We are finally getting rational decisions from our courts. The AGW mob is getting wacked for a change.

Logic and Reason
Reply to  Sam Pyeatte
January 22, 2020 8:37 am

“Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government,”

They sound more disappointed than rational
A rational response would sound more like:
“Reluctantly, we conclude that penalizing you for this colossal waste of time is beyond our power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ idiotic case for redress should be presented to the political branches of government for ridicule, followed by figuring out how to repeal the laws of physics”

michael hart
Reply to  Logic and Reason
January 22, 2020 10:32 am

Yes, L&R, I didn’t like that bit either. It suggests the Judge could try harder to be impartial in their administration of law.

Also the Judge who waffled about “hope”. Hope? People looking for hope should be advised to find a good religion, not a Judge.

There is much to be disturbed about in this article because these cases ought to be quickly dismissed on the evidence/scientific arguments alone.

paul courtney
Reply to  michael hart
January 22, 2020 10:53 am

michael hart: In the 9th, a judge basing ruling on “what about hope?” is usually in the majority. We can be grateful that she was the lone dissent (even though I completely agree that “reluctant” is not even wrong. A court making a correct legal ruling is not cause for reluctance at all, it clearly indicates the panel doesn’t like limits on their power.)

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
January 22, 2020 2:58 pm

Paul Courtney, I don’t disagree. But one Judge who appears to not know basic principles of jurisprudence is one too many. This kind of thing has been tolerated for too long.

Democrats talk about, and probably intend, to change the Electoral College in order to make it work more in their favor. It would be good to see some more talk from the other side about changing the ability of the n’th Circuit to effectively make Law without permission from the elected bodies.

Republicans may hold sway on the Supreme Court at the moment, but the Communists have plans to pack the Supreme Court à la Roosevelt in the 1930’s. Whos’s going to stop them when they have even a transient majority? I’ve not been a Republican voter most of my life but it pains me to see the powerful amongst them just looking after their own property while Rome burns. The current communists are coming for them after they have enslaved the rest of us.

Peter K
Reply to  Logic and Reason
January 22, 2020 2:08 pm

“Reluctantly” means that there is unlikely to be any money in it for me or my fellows?

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  Peter K
January 23, 2020 8:37 am

Michael Hart, FDR “tried” to pack the court, but failed – too much resistance. Best defense is to re-elect Trump and give two terms to Nikki Haley.

Bryan A
Reply to  Stevek
January 22, 2020 10:44 am

I thought you might be going in a different direction with that…
Lets get some funding together to sue the activists for using CO2…
Through Photosynthesis for increased Food supplies and optimization of ambient O2 levels

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Stevek
February 3, 2020 6:15 am

Stevek January 22, 2020 at 6:32 am

“Let’s get some funding together to sue the activists for using CO2” –> Let’s get some funding together to sue the kidz for inhaling O₂ to make horty cultures dependent by exhaling CO₂

January 22, 2020 6:34 am

Why America has a constitution.
Why the left hates the constitution.

Reply to  Davis
January 22, 2020 7:12 am

If you can’t convince a majority of the voting population, then concentrate on convincing a handful of judges.
Worked perfectly for gay marriage.

paul courtney
Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2020 10:58 am

MarkW_ Indeed. The word “reluctant” tells all that these judges wish they had the power, and cannot see why we don’t want them to have it. Many problems we see, particularly in the enviro field, are a result of courts taking power that they did not have and should not have, but the other branches tremble.

William Astley
Reply to  Davis
January 22, 2020 2:24 pm

Men and Woman of honour and reason protect the country… they get to the win-win solutions for the country. Fix things, rather than destroy a country.

The Democrats and the NGOs are working to take over the Supreme Court, justified by their own propaganda creation, CAGW.

CAGW is a Fake problem, that is so important it will be a constant emergency….

… forcing maximum spending on stuff that does not work and ever increasing carbon (CO2) taxes which cannot be stopped by changing governments.

Jeff Id
January 22, 2020 6:36 am

So the conservatives followed the rule of law while the dem used feelings to claim that they should write law.

It is not the job of judges to make law.

Reply to  Jeff Id
January 22, 2020 7:13 am

That attitude is so 19th century. /sarc

Caligula Jones
January 22, 2020 6:40 am

Unfortunately, here in Canada a group of Gretaclones has launched a similar court challenge.

The bad thing is of course, when it gets thrown out for the same reason this one did, we’ll get inundated with a combination of “moral victory”, “kept it in the public spotlight” and other “journalistic” takes.

The even worse news is it might not get thrown out…it is Canada after all. Any country that would elect a mascot as Prime Minister has issues.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 22, 2020 7:01 am

And here in Canada the judges seem to think it is the job of judges to make law.

Reply to  boffin77
January 22, 2020 7:05 am

And the politicians are generally too afraid to use the notwithstanding clause.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Davis
January 22, 2020 9:45 am

I think we’ll see more of this, particularly in Alberta, and maybe (hopefully) Ontario.

And after a few decades of Quebec using it…only hypocrites will complain, right?

Reply to  boffin77
January 22, 2020 12:54 pm

And according to Adam Schiff, this morning, it is the job of the US Senate to FIRE President Trump … because the voters … the people … cannot be trusted to dispatch Trump. We voters are too dumb to vote what’s in our own self interest. Wow. Just wow. The elites truly believe in their superiority. What utter nonsense.

Reply to  Kenji
January 23, 2020 8:18 am

These same people having been whining about how the dictators in China have such an easy time pushing through any policy changes they want.

Reply to  Kenji
January 23, 2020 12:45 pm

I’ve spent most of my life blissfully unaware of the degree of malevolence in the world.
I was also, perhaps not coincidentally, a Democrat. The “Global Warming” scam opened my eyes to much more than I expected, as time went by, the rot going far deeper than I could imagine. Adam Schiff, Nadler, Nancy, Chuck, all representative of the kind of people who would happily destroy the country in order to remain in power.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  boffin77
February 3, 2020 6:29 am

“boffin77 January 22, 2020 at 7:01 am

And here in Canada the judges seem to think it is the job of judges to make law.”

That’s just not fair. It was on your PM Justin Pierre James Trudeau to bring them Canadian kidz MaryJane on medical prescription.

And analgesics, all the other painkillers.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 22, 2020 9:34 pm

I think I saw someone here use the nickname “Scoldilocks” for Greta – first time I’d heard that, and a better nickname for her I have yet to find.

January 22, 2020 6:47 am

In these examples it seems that ambitious Dems can no longer use the courts to impose legislation that they can’t get through Congress.

January 22, 2020 6:48 am

Now if the defendants could only recover court costs they might put the kibosh on this kind of lawfare.

January 22, 2020 6:50 am

I posted this note in 2012 – 8 years ago – it’s looking prescient now. The climate was always a smokescreen for the left’s true intention – total control.

Regards, Allan


Instead of arguing about the science of global warming, we should just listen to what these enviro radicals are actually SAYING and DOING.

Maybe they know their global warming science is bogus, but it suits their purpose to use global warming hysteria as a smokescreen to mask their true intentions.

The radical warmists have done everything in their power to starve the world of fossil fuel energy that is required for continued global prosperity.

They have squandered a trillion dollars of scarce global resources on catastrophic humanmade global warming (CAGW) nonsense.

Investing these squandered resources in clean drinking water and sanitation alone would have saved the ~50 million kids who died from drinking contaminated water in the past 25+ years of CAGW hysteria.

Intelligent use of these scarce global resources could have easily saved as many people as were killed in the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.

50 million people died in Hitler’s WW2. Josef Stalin killed another 50 million of his own people in internal purges. Leftist hero Mao gets the prize, killing as many as 80 million Chinese during his Great Leap Backward.

The radical environmental movement has done equally well, rivaling Mao for fatalities caused by the banning of DDT and the misallocation of scarce global resources on the fraud of catastrophic humanmade global warming.

Since many of these enviro radicals are latter-day Malthusians, Club of Rome types, etc., it is reasonable to assume that THIS WAS THEIR INTENTION.

Is this too radical a proposal? Well, NO it is not: In addition to what the radical enviros DO, let’s EXAMINE what they SAY (h/t to Wayne):

”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
David Foreman,
co-founder of Earth First!

”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Ted Turner,
Founder of CNN and major UN donor

”The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
Jeremy Rifkin,
Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
Paul Ehrlich,
Professor of Population Studies,
Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

”The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
Sir James Lovelock,
BBC Interview

”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
Lead author of many IPCC reports

”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
Sir John Houghton,
First chairman of the IPCC

”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
Paul Watson,
Co-founder of Greenpeace

”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
David Brower,
First Executive Director of the Sierra Club

”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation

”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
Christine Stewart,
former Canadian Minister of the Environment

”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
Maurice Strong,
Founder of the UN Environmental Program

”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
Paul Ehrlich,
Professor of Population Studies,
Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation

”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.”
Michael Oppenheimer
Environmental Defense Fund

”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
Professor Maurice King

”Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
Maurice Strong,
Rio Earth Summit

”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
Amory Lovins,
Rocky Mountain Institute

”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
John Davis,
Editor of Earth First! Journal


Steve Case
January 22, 2020 10:11 am

ALLAN MACRAE January 22, 2020 at 6:50 am
I posted this note in 2012 – 8 years ago…

Climate change policies aren’t meant to control the climate,
they’re meant to control you.                    Paul Joseph Watson

Reply to  Steve Case
January 22, 2020 1:13 pm

Thank you Steve – The statement your posted is clearly true.

This one, which I also posted in 2012, is also true:


I repeat:
You can save yourselves a lot of time, and generally be correct, by simply assuming that EVERY SCARY PREDICTION the global warming alarmists express is FALSE.

The warming alarmists have a near-perfect negative predictive track record – every one of their scary predictions has failed to materialize.

January 22, 2020 12:51 pm

Great Post. Thanks.
I had seen many but not all of the quotes.There are some very dangerous people out there.

Reply to  Herbert
January 22, 2020 3:48 pm

You are welcome Herbert.


rhoda klapp
January 22, 2020 6:53 am

Exxon sell you petroleum. It is you who turns it into CO2. Not a corporation, not the government. You.

Reply to  rhoda klapp
January 22, 2020 7:52 am

Actually it’s consumers who are responsible for most of the petroleum being turned into CO2. My guess is that there is no shortage of hydrocarbons enabling your mobility and petroleum-based products in your home as is the case for most activists.

Reply to  Craig
January 22, 2020 7:05 pm

I would add the consumers also can’t say they don’t know the fossil fuels become CO2. So any lawsuit needs to be taken against the consumers not the oil companies.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  rhoda klapp
January 22, 2020 9:16 am

rhoda klapp, ….…. a diagnosis of Learning Disability appears to have been correct.

Reply to  rhoda klapp
January 22, 2020 10:30 am

And they deliver what you ordered, like the firewood delivery guy….

January 22, 2020 6:55 am

Obama appointees would have relished the chance to make policy much like Sotomayor does.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 22, 2020 10:01 am

All three were Obama appointees in the ca9 kids cade

John Endicott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 23, 2020 5:05 am

The 9th circuit panel was made up of Obama appointees. Even far left 9th circuit judges know they’d get slapped silly by the Supreme court if they tried to make policy here.

Henry chance
January 22, 2020 7:07 am

Just for the record.The Exxon case. Price Waterhouse CPA’s have rendered opinions on Exxon reports since 1934.

We audit P&L reports for the previous year and audit info behind the Balance sheets for the last day of the financial period.

The other report is sources and applications of funds followed by footnotes to financials.

Accountants MUST pass an ethics exam. Mann could not survive a CPA audit.

Schneiderman wanted1.6 billion dollars from Exxon for NOT devoting enough footnotes to possible future regulations. Exxon serves in 200 countries. CPA’s print STRONG disclaimers about potential future events.

Annual Reports are historical reports.

Lastly, Mann filed suit in 2012 and could not cough up his “data” for 7 years. Unaudited Mannipulated data.

Exxon will cough up their 2019 data by about 4 weeks from today.

Reply to  Henry chance
January 22, 2020 7:48 am

wrt: Dr. Mann

I have a legal theory, which is worth nothing but so far no lawyer has stepped forward to tell me I’m wrong and cite case law to that effect.

Adverse inference is a legal inference, adverse to the concerned party, drawn from silence or absence of requested evidence. It is part of evidence codes based on common law in various countries. link

Given that Mann avoided* actually going into court and testifying under oath and producing evidence, he has basically confessed that he and his hockey stick are frauds and that he does indeed belong in ‘state pen’ rather than Penn State.

*The judge pitched the case out based on Mann’s inexcusable delays.

Henry chance
Reply to  commieBob
January 22, 2020 10:53 am

Let me comment on that with tech facts. The delays were because Mann refused to furnish files. The files would reflect how he Mannipulated data to get R square coefficient of determination to show what he wanted to show.

January 22, 2020 7:45 am

It should be noted, that the judges nixed their cases with the greatest reluctance and regret. Had they the power to carry through with these litigations I have no doubt they would have done so.

January 22, 2020 7:49 am

It was Judge Alsop in the California case who seemed to wake up after the tutorial he requested. His ruling contained the awareness that litigants were demanding the court meddle in a complex energy system delivering extensive and essential social benefits. He didn’t want to be on the hook for setting rules for emissions and fuel sources that resulted in shortages and blackouts.

Recently Michael Kelly explained why engineers and not lawyers are in charge of energy production and distribution.
His lecture text is at https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/11/KellyWeb.pdf
My synopsis is https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/kellys-climate-clarity/

Reply to  Ron Clutz
January 22, 2020 8:14 am

Sorry to misspell the good judge’s name: Should be Alsup.

Reply to  Ron Clutz
January 22, 2020 8:34 am

Judge Alsup said that climate change was an issue of global importance but that the companies were not solely at fault. “Our industrial revolution and the development of our modern world has literally been fueled by oil and coal,” he wrote. “Without those fuels, virtually all of our monumental progress would have been impossible.”

In light of that, he asked: “Would it really be fair to now ignore our own responsibility in the use of fossil fuels and place the blame for global warming on those who supplied what we demanded? Is it really fair, in light of those benefits, to say that the sale of fossil fuels was unreasonable?” NYT

Many/most of us would not be here today were it not for fossil fuels.

Typical of the social justice warrior types, the folks bringing the lawsuits show no gratitude at all for the immense privilege of living in what may be the golden age of humanity so far.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  commieBob
January 25, 2020 5:21 am

Commie B

I was looking at the claim promulgated yesterday that the earth can only sustainably support about 3.5 billion people. Think about this: 200 years ago, the earth could only support less than 1 billion people, most of them in poverty and starvation.

So things are looking up, eh?

Well, 200 years from now we will have continued to advance and the earth will sustainably support 10 billion people, in comfort, not misery.

January 22, 2020 8:11 am

Any federal judge, like the dissenting judge on the 9th circuit, needs to be impeached and removed for failure to uphold her sworn duty to uphold the US Constitution.

The attempt to MAKE law should be disqualifying in all cases.

That is the real reason the dems want TRUMP! gone, he is undoing 70 years of judicial activism by appointing originalist judges who will, if he gets 4 more years, eventually undo the overreach of the activist judges,

January 22, 2020 8:17 am

I would be very interested to see what would happen, in front of a Judge led court, where ‘everyone’ would give evidence on oath! Calling people like Mann, Prof Phil Jones (who ‘lost’ vital data when ordered to provide them) and others to prove the Climate is changing dramatically due to human activity would be something to behold!

I have written and asked Boris Johnson to convene a Parliamentary Select Committee to hear evidence, on oath, from both sides of the climate argument. Something the UK taxpayers deserve, especially if the government propose to spend Billions on tackling something which, to me, is no where near proven.

A Labour Member of Parliament has recently said, when being interviewed on live Sky TV, “We have a decade to fix the Climate Crisis and save the Planet from burning”. WHAT is going to happen in this decade that will cause the planet to burn?

POTUS should call their bluff and hold a Presidential Inquiry hearing evidence also on oath and see what comes out the other end! Both sides cannot be right! (And we may find out ‘what’ the emergency actually and specifically is and ‘what’ is going to cause it!).

January 22, 2020 8:22 am

The possibility of future harm is not sufficient grounds for a lawsuit, by logic if not in the uninformed mind of an activist judge.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Gary
January 22, 2020 9:28 am

Gary, if you are arrested for DUI, ……. then you were arrested for the possibility that you might cause future harm.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
January 22, 2020 10:19 am

What you are referring to is “imminent” harm, which is a different thing entirely. If someone points a gun at me and threatens to kill me, the harm is still in the future, but it is specific and in the very near future, therefor it is “imminent”. This is the legal basis upon which I can use deadly force to protect myself, even though the harm has not yet happened. The “projected” harm from CAGW is both vague and far into the future which means it is not imminent and not sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
January 22, 2020 10:23 am

No, you are arrested because you broke the existing law created by the political branch of government.

Anna Keppa
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
January 22, 2020 10:56 am

“Arrest” for being in a situation that is a known source of immediate danger to the public is NOT the same as filing a “lawsuit” CLAIMING future harm.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
January 22, 2020 7:13 pm

Robert above has it right politics make the laws, the judiciary enforce those laws.

The problem is as the judges said the lawsuit seeks to have the judiciary create a law.

The answer for them is simple they have to win a thumping majority in an election and create the law 🙂

John Endicott
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
January 23, 2020 8:21 am

Samuel,as others pointed out there are two issues at play with DUI arrests.
1) there’s a specific law that the legislative branch wrote that the executing branch signed into law that had been broken (it wasn’t invented by the Judical branch because someone sued for it to be a law). That law is why you can get arrested for DUI.
2) the basis for that specific law, is that being inebriated behind the while of a motor vehicle is an imminent threat to the safety of the public. That means a drunk behind the wheel could, at any moment, harm or kill an innocent bystander due to their incapacity behind the wheel and the public feared that imminent threat enough that they voted for politicians/lobbied the politicans in order to pass such a law. (again a political action involving the legislative and executive branches)

In the case of the climate kids there is no specific law being broken and the “harm” being claimed is some vague nebulous far future harm (Ie not at all imminent) so you are comparing apples to oranges here.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
February 3, 2020 7:23 am

Samuel C Cogar January 22, 2020 at 9:28 am

Gary, if you are arrested for DUI, ……. then you were arrested for the possibility that you might cause future harm.

Right, Samuel CC, but that’s not in the hands of the police officers.

It’s in the hands of the executive aka the local Sheriff’s Burau

to remember its Officers to follow the jurisdiction aka the

competent court which acts in the name of the sovereign, the people,

representatet by the the Parliament led by

the sitting President.


Complex systems enable everyday duties.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Gary
January 22, 2020 10:02 am

Anything that can be imagined is suitable for Marvel Comics. However, such fantasies are not suitable for the governance of the future.

John Bell
January 22, 2020 8:27 am

Weird how these climate crusaders want to be able to sue oil companies but still use fossil fuels every day, oh the HYPOCRISY!

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  John Bell
January 22, 2020 10:20 am

Yes, that about sums it up! What weird times we do live in.

January 22, 2020 8:51 am

“Impressive case for redress” only if you have an appetite for the odious propaganda of weather cultists.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Dave-E
January 22, 2020 9:06 am

Yeah, trying to describe the process to the kiddies (and their adult enablers) here in Canada:

1) A broke government borrows money
2) which has to be paid back
3) with interest
4) (which means it won’t be spent on schools, healthcare or the environment)
5) this money will go to pay for government lawyers
6) to defend the government
7) against lawyers paid for by international sources, or Canadian sources which are tax-exempt
8) for a case that will most likely do little but raise money for #7 as it will be thrown out
9) see #1

January 22, 2020 9:23 am

Trump is eliminating the left’s golden judicial goose that has been delivering the left’s agenda referencing parts of the Constitution no one else can find. Hope he can do more.

The courts should not be a cash cow for liberal causes as it has been.

January 22, 2020 9:32 am

Aah, the wonders of Originalists on the Court.

Reason wins this one.

January 22, 2020 9:50 am

“Plaintiffs’ claims are based on science” is the problem. The media has done their propaganda job in convincing most people that the “science” is sound. They also said this is a political problem that needs to go through the political process and a vote. I’m betting AGW would lose in a vote based on the historical ambivalence of the public towards AGW. If it came down to a vote and the people were brought to realize what the real catastrophic outcome would be they would nix outlawing fossil fuels.

January 22, 2020 10:04 am

If the courts start violating the constitution by mandating spending it is the perfect right of the other two branches of government to stop the courts. In our constitution courts do not have the right to mandate spending.

Steve Z
January 22, 2020 10:10 am

Where do these activists get the idea that the US government “supports” fossil fuels? The government doesn’t give or lend any money to someone who wants to mine coal or drill for oil and/or gas. If such exploration is done on private land, the company doing the drilling or mining has to either buy the land or pay royalties to the landowner. If such exploration is done on government-owned land (or offshore), the company pays the government for a “lease” to explore in that area. This is primarily done to ensure that only one company has the right to explore on a given tract of land at a given time.

The US government does not financially “support” the search for fossil fuels. It is either neutral (for private land) or charges taxes (for public land or offshore). The federal government, and all 50 state governments, receive taxes from the sale of gasoline or diesel fuel for use in motor vehicles.

The United States is practically alone among nations in allowing private enterprise to drill for oil and gas, and sell it for profit, even if it is taxed. In most foreign countries, including Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, oil and gas exploration is nationalized–owned by the national government, for the profit of the government. These national monopolies stifle competition and tend to increase prices, although these government-run corporations do compete with those from other nations.

While Exxon-Mobil is the largest oil company in the United States, and makes a tempting target, it only owns about 3% of the world’s known oil reserves, so even if Exxon-Mobil were shut down by a lawsuit, it would only have a minimal impact on the climate.

If these activists want to sue someone for promoting global warming, they should sue the Communist Party of China, which has been building coal-fired power plants faster than the rest of the world combined. But “rots of ruck” with that!

January 22, 2020 11:59 am

Thanks Allan; had this bookmarked on the old computer but somehow not all got transferred back to new browser.

January 22, 2020 12:41 pm

Lawsuit is obviously funded by national oil companies of Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc.

Isn’t it obvious?

I guess not. Many still believe there’s a greenhouse effect on Venus. lol


Patrick MJD
Reply to  Zoe Phin
January 22, 2020 6:33 pm

As well as the mass of the atmosphere. Ideal gas laws and all that.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 22, 2020 8:12 pm

I used to subscribe to that theory, but that was before my geothermal discovery.

What you mention only controls the gradient – the rate at which temperature is reduced away from the surface.

January 22, 2020 2:24 pm

Or the judge could just ask for evidence.


Reply to  Chaamjamal
January 22, 2020 5:04 pm

Evidence? We don’t need no stin

January 22, 2020 4:27 pm

Info on the Ninth Circuit is a built out of date. Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke Have been confirmed.

January 22, 2020 8:45 pm

Ok children, we’ll work with you on ending the use of fossil fuels, no problem..but first up, walk home, then destroy all your computers, your mobile phones, your cycles, your clothes, your shoes, your television, your books, your appliances, your cosmetics and anything else in the house that you and your parents own, put your cat, dog, bird, fish or other pets somewhere safe outside, make sure no one else is inside, then switch off the electricity, grab a box of matches or cig lighter, go to your garage, pour petrol over all the cars and set them alight, go back inside and set fire to the curtains in every room, then go outside on the road and watch your houses burn to the ground. Why are we saying do this first? Well it’s obvious – you want everyone to stop using fossil fuels, Everything you own including your clothes, your houses and cars, the transport you used to get here are made using fossil fuels. When we see you back here with proof* you’ve done everything we requested, we’ll sit and discuss the next steps of your demands.
*not sure how they’ll be able to take pictures, but hey, clever kids can do anything.

Alan Tomalty
January 22, 2020 8:55 pm

“One of the judges in that case strenuously dissented, suggesting that the court might curse the day it nixed the argument.” THAT JUDGE IS OBVIOUSLY DELUSIONAL AND HIS TENURE SHOULD BE REVIEWED. MADNESS.

January 23, 2020 2:16 am

“Courts simply do not have it in their power in the United States to command the entire energy system.”

He could have just as easily said: “Courts simply do not have the competence to command the entire energy system.”

Nor does the government, if we depended on the judges or the government to develop and run our energy system, we’d be relying on coal and a captive breeding program for whales.

January 23, 2020 7:26 am
Charles Taylor
January 23, 2020 9:28 am

This ruling is a win, but it’s clear there is mischief afoot in the judiciary if you read the opinion.

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