SCOTUS denies major oil companies' appeal to shift climate lawsuits to federal level

 April 25, 2023

American oil companies facing lawsuits alleging they're responsible for climate change took a massive, unfortunate, blow at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court this week. 

According to the Washington Examiner, several major oil companies, including Exxon, had their appeals request denied, in which they sought to prove that they have the ability to move the lawsuits to the federal level, among other legal issues.

The outlet noted:

Energy companies were rebuffed in their pursuit to shift the lawsuits from state to federal court, in which corporate defendants often have better odds in their favor. The companies argued they are governed by federal law, giving them the ability to move the cases out of state court.

ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy lead the main appeal.

Ongoing legal fights

The oil companies argued that the lawsuits should be moved to the federal level, arguing that they're governed and regulated by federal law.

However, at the federal appeals court level, judges ruled that the companies lack the grounds to shift the lawsuits to the federal level.

Among the many lawsuits faced by the companies, some of the climate change-related suits argue that the oil companies should be on the financial hook for compensating residents of cities and towns due to an uptick in forest fires and other scenarios that climate activists blame on climate change.

The Examiner noted:

Other companies that pushed for appeals in cases filed by Colorado local governments were Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Phillips 66, and BP.

Notably, Justice Samuel Alito recused himself from the ruling. Though he didn't specify a reason, as he's not required to, public filings show that he owns stock in two of the major oil companies behind the appeal.

Social media backlash

Many across social media were skeptical or disappointed in the decision made by the conservative majority high court.

"Oil companies should just stop delivering to these states," one Twitter user wrote.

"They should welcome that debate. There is ZERO proof they have caused or even contributed to climate change," another user wrote.

The Examiner added:

The 6-3 Republican-appointed court has ruled differently on other legal matters surrounding climate change disputes. Last year, the justices ruled to limit the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to address climate change under a provision of the Clean Air Act.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.