U.S. Supreme Court Denies Big Oil Push to Move Climate Lawsuits Away From States

“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a significant victory for climate justice and climate lawsuits filed across the United States and around the world."

Supreme Court building
The US Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2023. Daniel Slim / AFP / Getty Images
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday effectively rejected appeals by multiple oil and gas companies to have cases brought against them heard in federal court.

The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals from Exxon Mobil, Suncor Energy, and Chevron, leaving lower court rulings that the cases brought against them by Rhode Island and counties and municipalities in Maryland, Colorado, California and Hawaii should be heard in the state courts in which they were filed.

States and municipalities are seeking to hold fossil fuel firms accountable for deceiving the public about the climate-heating effects of their product, and the harm caused by those impacts, and the fossil fuel defendants believe they have a better chance of winning if they can get the cases heard in federal court.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today [Monday] is a significant victory for climate justice and climate lawsuits filed across the United States and around the world,” Delta Merner of the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a statement. “The communities involved in this case suffered unimaginable losses due, in large part, to the recklessness and greed of the fossil fuel industry, and now they are one step closer to having their day in court.”

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