City and county officials from California to New York have filed suits against oil and gas companies alleging their fossil fuel production and promotion creates a public nuisance, citing the effects of rising sea levels on coast lines and infrastructure.
Pushing back against the Trump administration’s support for the fossil fuel industry and apparent lack of concern for the environmental impact, a number of American cities are taking the fight to the courts, according to a report from Reuters.
In California, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland sued Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell alleging public nuisance and seeking damages to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure to guard against rising sea levels. A district court judge dismissed the suits on June 25, Reuters said.
Richmond in January filed a public nuisance claim against Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and 25 other oil and gas companies in California Superior Court, Contra Costa County, alleging their extracting and promotion of fossil has led to rising sea levels fuels that impact the city’s property.
Santa Cruz County in December 2017 filed a public nuisance suit against Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others seeking damages for sea level rise and extreme flooding events blamed on fossil fuels.
Imperial Beach, San Mateo County and Marin County separately filed suits in July 2017 against Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others alleging public nuisance, negligence and trespass and seeking undisclosed damages.
In New York, the City filed suit in January with the federal court against Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell seeking undisclosed damages from the effects of climate change.
King County, Washington, in May filed suit against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell alleging a public nuisance and trespass by their production and promotion of fossil fuels. It seeks to require the companies fund an abatement program and compensate the county for undisclosed damages.