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For Immediate Release

Contact

Mike Meno, Center for Climate Integrity, mike@climateintegrity.org 

Press Release

Supreme Court Denies Big Oil’s Request to Review California Climate Lawsuits

Oakland and San Francisco are seeking to hold oil and gas giants accountable for climate damages they knowingly caused.
WASHINGTON -

In a blow to Big Oil’s efforts to escape accountability in a growing number of climate damages lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court today denied a request from BP, Chevron, Exxon, and other oil and gas companies to review an appeals court ruling rejecting the industry’s arguments that lawsuits from Oakland and San Francisco be removed to federal court.

Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, released the following statement: 

“Big Oil and Gas companies keep trying to evade responsibility for their role in the climate crisis so they can stick taxpayers with the bill for the massive damages their products cause. Appeals courts have overwhelmingly agreed that climate liability lawsuits filed in state courts belong in state courts. The Supreme Court did the right thing by letting the Ninth Circuit’s ruling stand. Oakland, San Francisco, and the more than 20 other states and communities seeking to hold Big Oil accountable deserve their day in court.” 

Background on Oakland, San Francisco, and Other Climate Liability Lawsuits: 

The Big Oil and Gas companies had asked the court to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from May 2020 that overturned a federal district court decision that dismissed the lawsuits from Oakland and San Francisco. The Ninth Circuit panel sent those cases back to the lower court for further consideration on the same day the panel ruled that another group of climate damages lawsuits against Big Oil and Gas from six other California cities and counties should proceed in state court. 

Last month, the Supreme Court ordered the Fourth Circuit to review additional arguments to determine whether a similar climate damages case from the City of Baltimore should be heard in state or federal court. The high court declined to consider whether Baltimore’s and similar cases belong in state or federal court or the merits of the lawsuits’ claims. 

Since 2017, 26 state and local governments, including the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island; the District of Columbia, and 20 city and county governments in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Washington have filed lawsuits to hold oil and gas corporations accountable for deceiving the public about climate change. Learn about those cases here.

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The Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) helps cities and states across the country hold corporate polluters accountable for the massive impacts of climate change.

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