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Supreme Court Allows San Francisco, Oakland Lawsuits Against Big Oil Companies To Proceed


SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Two more ambitious lawsuits would be hard to image: in 2017 the cities of Oakland and San Francisco filed separate public nuisance lawsuits against five of the world’s biggest energy companies, seeking to hold them responsible for the local effects of sea level rise.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to throw the suits out of court, although the cases still face many daunting obstacles ahead.

The theory of the cases is that through “massive production” of fossil fuels, the energy companies — Chevron Corporation, BP LLC, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell PLC — have contributed to “global warming-induced sea level rise,” which the cities have to spend enormous sums to abate.

According to the cities, the energy companies should fund a “climate change adaption program,” which would include building sea walls and the other infrastructure needed because of climate change.


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