California Sues Oil Companies For Rising Sea Levels

Three California counties sued 37 of the world’s largest oil and coal companies Monday for damages related to global warming-induced sea level rise.

Marin County, San Mateo County, and Imperial Beach filed separate, but virtually identical, lawsuits claiming that oil companies bear responsibility for the sea level rise harming in coastal counties. County lawyers claim flooding is more frequent and beaches are eroding more rapidly.

The counties want reimbursement for current and future financial losses from sea level rise, in addition to punitive damages. The plaintiffs don’t set a specific number for damages but estimate they’ll need at least $54 billion dollars over the coming decades.

“This is a long-anticipated move in climate litigation,” Michael Burger, executive director of environmental law at Columbia University, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “You’ll find pieces of it in other cases, but bringing it together like this is different than what’s been done before. You can expect there will be a great deal of interest in how this litigation proceeds.”

The lawsuits claim energy companies knew their drilling activities were damaging Earth by causing global warming but attempted to discredit scientific findings instead.

Government lawyers filed suit under a similar doctrine that forced a $206 billion settlement from the tobacco industry regarding the health costs of cigarettes in the 1990s. The three lawsuits also argue that the energy companies behaved like the tobacco industry by conspiring to mislead the public about side effects of their product.

The San Francisco Chronicle called the lawsuits a “first-of-its-kind challenge that some liken to the high-stakes litigation of the tobacco industry in the 1990s.”

However, the case has huge legal hurdles, and a similar lawsuit by an Alaskan town in 2008 was thrown out of court.

Read more at Daily Caller

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Stupidity,Greed and Politics in California and three liberal run counties filing a frivolous lawsuit over so called rising sea levels YOU JUST CANT CURE STUPIDITY and LIBERALISM

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    I thought selling oil and gas was legal . I haven’t seen those same
    counties ban the use of fossil fuels or those politicians stop cold turkey using all fossil fuels .
    This is like a 300 lb guy suing a donut shop for making him fat
    except in the case of climate change warming has as many benefits
    or more than cooling and as everyone knows climate changes with a 6 billion year track record to prove it .
    California is about to slip under the ocean from it’s mountain of debt and they are desperate for cash . Stupid cash management
    has consequences and they are now landing . A wee nudge in interest rates and California government can kiss it’s ass good bye . Pension funds grossly underfunded with criminal assumptions of returns are now landing putting politicians who no only how to spend money they don’t in a no fun box . Yeah tax the rich
    impose carbon taxes . How about cutting spending for a change ?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Old44

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      Who built all those nice freeways and transmission lines to facilitate the use of fossil fuels?
      The coal and oil interests should withdraw their products from the marketplace in those counties until the court case is proved.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Knights Templar

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    Where’s the evidence that these counties have been or will be affected by questionable rising sea levels? Climate alarmists were predicting that the Maldives would be under water by now. Strangely, it continues to attract tens of thousands of tourists to its sun soaked beaches.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      rakooi

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      With the Help of warming ocean water which enables increased erosion and rising ocean levels…land is being lost.

      “…The GPS showed David Morgan still on dry land – but the waves bumping beneath his boat revealed the reality of this lost Louisiana landscape.

      Rising seas (and warming waters) have obliterated 30 points on the map in the last three years at Plaquemines Parish where Morgan lives.

      Sugarcane fields, citrus groves, backwoods – all gone.

      “This was all land here when I was a kid. There was no water anywhere,” said Morgan, 57, slowing the boat to pass oyster beds.

      “I used to hunt rabbits there with my dog,” he said.

      Louisiana is losing land to the sea faster than anywhere else in the world.
      .
      Five tiny Pacific islands have disappeared due to rising seas and erosion, a discovery thought to be the first scientific confirmation of the impact of climate change on coastlines in the Pacific, according to Australian researchers.
      Sea levels set to ‘rise far more rapidly than expected’
      Read more

      The submerged islands were part of the Solomon Islands, an archipelago that over the last two decades has seen annual sea levels rise as much as 10mm (0.4in), according to research published in the May issue of the online journal Environmental Research Letters.

      The missing islands, ranging in size from 1 to 5 hectares (2.5-12.4 acres) were not inhabited by humans.

      But six other islands had large swaths of land washed into the sea and on two of those, entire villages were destroyed and people forced to relocate, the researchers found.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        David Lewis

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        Modern sea levels are only rising at a rate of 0.17 of a meter/century.

        https://climatechangedispatch.com/new-paper-northern-hemisphere-temperatures-rose-4-5c-within-a-few-decades/

        Just like the warming predictions, predictions of excessive sea level rise are not happening.

        The claim that climate change is responsible is part of common practice of the alarmists. If it is bad, then climate change is at fault.

        Pacific islands have been forming and disappearing before climate change was an issue. Some of the trouble they have had was made worse by human activity.

        Some land is made up of sediment and is full of organic matter. Organic matter rots, and the land that it supports sinks.

        As far as the law suit, that is a good thing. Unlike the news media which strongly favors the alarmist point of view, in court, both sides are heard, and the facts are against those who filed the suit.

        Reply

      • Avatar

        Steve

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        Land also sinks, you know.
        Tsk..the standard of high schools these days is poor.

        Reply

      • Avatar

        Old44

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        These Australian researchers would not happen to be associated with the lunatics at Cook University by any chance?

        Reply

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